By Marita Moaje
MANILA – The Austrian government seeks to hire more Filipino healthcare professionals and other skilled workers in the coming years.
Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan Ople, in a press release issued on Tuesday, said she considers Austria as another promising labor market for Filipino workers.
She said a high-level delegation from Austria visited the DMW on Tuesday where they discussed possible employment opportunities for Filipino skilled workers who may want to work in Austria.
“Upon the advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs, we would need to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to set the tone and define the parameters of our partnership with the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the Federal State of Vienna,” she said.
The Austrian delegation was led by Professor Gunther Wiesinger, Austrian Ambassador Dr. Johann Brieger, representatives from the government of the City of Vienna and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.
“In the course of the next couple of years, Austria has a demand for around 60,000 to 75,000 healthcare professionals with an additional 200,000 job openings across all industries,” Wiesinger told Ople.
Meanwhile, Ople thanked the members of the Austrian delegation for their interest in hiring Filipino workers.
She assured that fair and ethical principles will be upheld in the recruitment and hiring of workers through the direct collaboration between the Austrian government and the DMW.
Relatively, she briefed the Austrian delegation of the government’s initiatives to ensure that the country has enough nurses and other healthcare workers to serve the local population.
She also informed the delegation of the DMW’s plan to launch a scholarship fund for nursing students, to be done in close coordination with the Department of Health and the Commission on Higher Education.
She noted that both the Philippines and Austria have sufficient mechanisms and laws to prevent human trafficking as the two countries belong to the Tier 1 category in the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report.
DMW data show that as of 2022, there are around 5,824 OFWs in Austria, with about 1,220 workers in the hospitality and food service sector and 749 in the health and social work service.
“Our partnership with the Philippine government through the DMW will create a win-win situation, providing employment opportunities for skilled Filipino workers while contributing to the growth of Austria’s economy,” Brieger said. (PNA)