More and more Asian migrant workers are expected to enter the Hungarian labour market, especially in the field of tourism and hospitality. The majority of guest workers come from Indonesia, the Philippines and Mongolia, but more and more workforce is coming from Vietnam and India as well.
Asian migrant workers are considered to be reliable and hard-working people. This is why more and more domestic recruitment or temporary employment agencies are trying to attract Asian workforce to Hungary. The primary sectors where they are recruited are tourism and hospitality where the labour shortage is the highest since the Covid crisis. After the recovery of the economy in Western Europe, the previously dominant Ukrainian workforce has started to leave the country. Thus, by spring, the situation in Hungary had become so critical that, according to a recent report of the Hungarian Statistical Office (KSH), nearly 90,000 workers are missing from the Hungarian labour market – reported by the Hungarian news portal Index.
In order to counterbalance the situation, the Hungarian governments came up with a solution last July. Accordingly, companies were allowed to employ non-EU Asian workers, including Filipinos, Vietnamese, Indonesians and Mongolians, in shortage occupations under certain conditions. One year after the emergency measure was introduced, 13 intermediary firms have now been granted so-called ‘qualified employer status’.
Companies that have been authorised to legally employ Asian migrant workers have undergone serious due diligence. They were also required to set aside a deposit EUR 124,000 (~HUF 50 million) as security. However, the companies involved are very optimistic. Experts say that Asian workers have the same wage demand as Hungarians. In addition, they are less likely to go home after a while, meanwhile this was more common for workers arriving from the neighbouring Ukraine. Currently, the majority of guest workers come from Mongolia, Indonesia, the Philippines and some from Vietnam.
Mongolian workers have already been present in Hungary, around Mór and Győr. They mainly get positive feedback. According to their employers, they are basically skilled workers, who compensate for their low skills with a high work ethic. They mainly come to Hungary for a few years to save money and then return to their home country. They are hard-working and well adapt to domestic and professional environments.
Indonesian workforce are typically more educated than Mongolians or Vietnamese: many of the applicants come to Hungary with secondary or higher education. There are already many of them working in the country. Despite the cultural and religious differences, experts say that Indonesians can easily integrate into the local community. This is especially true for those fields where the labour shortage is more remarkable.
The biggest advantage of Filipino workers is that they all speak English. That is why most of the domestic companies would like to employ workforce form the Philippines. However, there the posting of foreign workers is a separate sector of the economy with its own ministry and bureaucracy, making life very difficult for domestic recruitment companies.
According to the expert, to hire Filipino workers, domestic recruitment or temporary employment agencies neeed to register with the local ministry as the first step. Then, they need to cooperate with a Philippine agency, who charge them a very substantial amount of money, EUR 1900-2800 for each Filipino worker. In order to make the system more liveable, further cooperation is planned from this autumn.
Vietnamese people already have a large European colony and an extensive network of contacts, which is why they are at risk of migration. In practice, this means that if they are not brought in through the right recruitment channel and with the right pre-screening, they will get off the plane in Budapest and go on to Vienna, Rome or Paris. Therefore, their long-term stay in Hungary is uncertain.
In addition, the employment of Indian labour is also becoming more common in Hungary. There have been many positive experiences with Indian workers across Europe, and due to their skills and strong work ethics, they are welcome in many sectors of the economy. Based on this, Waberers International Plc has decided to start employing 80 Indian drivers and 2 dispatchers in March this year. The Waberer’s group continues to rely mainly on Hungarian and regional drivers, and the vast majority of the workforce are Hungarians, but they need foreign workers as they cannot replace sufficient numbers of drivers in the region. In order to learn the local conditions and comply with the legal requirements, Indians had to attend courses in Hungary, get experience of European driving, learn about health and safety and other regulations. As the language of communication with these colleagues is English, a professional interview in English was also conducted – reported by the Hungarian news portal Blikk.
Source: index.hu, blikk.hu