Increasing digitalisation and an aging workforce mean that Switzerland could face a labour shortfall of around half a million workers by 2030.
This shortage of suitable job candidates is already being felt by companies, especially in highly-skilled sectors, as a new report by recruitment agency Adecco and the University of Zurich shows.
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In the first quarter of 2018, staff in the following sectors were the most highly sought-after in Switzerland:
1) trust and fiduciary services (including auditors, tax advisers etc)
2) skilled technicians
4) doctors, medical assistants and pharmacists
5) IT positions
6) technical drawing positions
7) plant operating specialists, quality control experts etc
8) legal positions
9) teaching and education positions
10) top management and top public service positions
In German-speaking Switzerland, technicians were the most sought-after workers.
“It is very difficult for businesses to fill these vacancies. Unfortunately, there are still too few women who have qualifications in mathematics, IT, natural sciences and engineering,” said Nicole Burth, CEO of Adecco Switzerland of the report’s findings.
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In French and Italian-speaking Switzerland, meanwhile, staff for the trust and fiduciary services sector were the most in demand while skilled technicians occupied the second place in the ranking.
The problems in employing skilled workers are set to accentuate in some sectors, with small and medium-sized enterprises expected to find it hardest to attract talent.
Targeted education is one of the key ways to address the problem, according to Helen Buchs of University of Zurich’s Stellenmarktmonitor Schweiz job market monitor.
But Buchs said it was also critical to bring women into the job market and increase the appeal of those sectors where staff shortages are most extreme.
From 2010 to 2016 some 81,900 women joined the Swiss workforce in full-time positions. However, a total of 322,700 full-time jobs were created in that period.