In an effort to facilitate the entry of skilled foreign labour into Lithuania, the government on Wednesday recognized professional experience as an alternative to higher education qualifications.
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"This will apply to third-country nationals who do not have a higher education diploma but have at least five years of professional experience and who apply for a permit to work as a highly-skilled employee," Economy Minister Mindaugas Sinkevičius said during the Cabinet's sitting.

"We are not saying that five years' professional experience is equal to a diploma. What we are saying is that at least five years of relevant professional experience, for example, in IT, proves that a person is highly skilled," he added.

According to the minister, the aim is to make it easier for businesses to hire highly skilled workers from abroad.

The government earlier this year approved a list of 27 professions, including programmers, IT specialists, engineers of various specialties and technicians, that require high professional qualifications and for which there are not enough local workers. It will be easier for such professionals from non-EU countries to get employment in Lithuania.

Critics say that unless sufficient safeguards are put in place, the facilitation of employment of foreigners may slow down wage growth.

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