© Gamintojo nuotr.

Lithuanian engineering companies are being forced to look to hire workers from abroad because of a skills shortage in Lithuania.

Chief executive of one of the largest engineering industry groups in Lithuania AB Vakarų laivų gamykla and Lithuanian Engineering Industry Association (LINPRA) Presidium member, Arnoldas Šileika, said that the country's companies firstly seek to employ as many Lithuanian citizens as possible but that the market had now been hit by a critical shortage of skilled workers.

“A lot of skilled workers are working in Ukraine, so the vast majority arriving to work are from this country. At present, we have about 100 employed Ukrainians at our company,” said Šileika.

With a high level of orders Lithuania’s engineering industry could treble export production but cannot expand due to lack of specialists.

Engineering industry representatives argued that simplification of employment procedures for foreigners would reduce the shortage of professionals in the engineering industry in Lithuania and increase the country's competitiveness and exports.

Lithuania mostly competes with neighbouring countries for engineering industry professionals - Poland, Latvia, and Estonia.

“The demographic changes, the lack of preparedness of young people to work in companies and not always sufficient education - these are just some of the reasons why there is such situation in the engineering industry,” said Gintaras Vilda, the head of LINPRA.

Vilda said Lithuanian engineering industries have been growing steadily for almost 10 years - the sector employs about 31,000 workers.


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