The recruitment of third-country nationals should be tightened to attract more workers with higher added value, Vice Minister of Social Security and Labor Vytautas Silinskas says after the country’s Interior Minister’s said earlier this week that the growing inflow of third-country nationals coming to Lithuania to work poses a threat to Lithuania’s security and proposed tightening up the recruitment of such people.
The Social Security and Labor Ministry supports the recruitment of highly qualified foreigners, the vice minister says, adding, however, that the proposed requirement for foreigners not to change jobs during the first six months is excessive.
“We are in favor of tighter requirements as we need more investment in automation, to move towards competition on quality rather than cheaper products, and this does not require cheap labor, it requires a skilled, highly-qualified workforce,” Silinskas told the public radio LRT on Wednesday.
The Interior Ministry vows to propose stepping up controls on the employment of foreigners and their employers’ activities in Lithuania, as well as to tax mediation letters for companies that invite foreigners to work.
Interior Vice Minister Arnoldas Abramavicius says the changes must take into account threats to national security, the interests of politicians, businesses and workers.
“We want to focus specifically on the national security component. Of course, migration needs to be legal to maintain the economy, (…) we have to take a balanced stance with the business world, (…) taking into account the situation of trade unions, workers, and also the situation of those third-country workers, so that they do not become slaves,” Abramavicius told the LRT radio.
The proposals to change the employment procedure and promote integration include proposal to require newcomers to learn the Lithuanian language to a certain level and to refrain from changing jobs for six months.
Audrius Cuzanauskas, who leads the Trade Union Alliance, says the existing procedure needs to be changed because it lacks control and, as a result, a lot of unqualified labor force is being brought into the country by falsified documents.
The growing inflow of foreigners coming to Lithuania for work is a threat to Lithuania’s security, Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said on Monday, adding that newcomers are being used as a cover by the intelligence services of hostile countries.
According to the Interior Ministry, some 50,000 foreigners have come to work in Lithuania this year. These are mainly citizens of Belarus, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. The number of foreigners coming from Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan is also increasing.
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