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Austria eyes hiring 500 OFWs annually

FIVE hundred overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are being eyed for deployment to Austria annually amid the shortage of skilled workers in the Central European nation.

Speaking after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Philippines and Austria, Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Officer-in-Charge Hans Leo Cacdac said around 500 OFWs would be deployed annually to meet Austria’s demand for workers.

“We aim to facilitate the deployment of Filipino professionals and skilled workers to Austria in a manner that is safe, ethical, sustainable, and mutually beneficial,” said Cacdac.

“Our workers, in return, will contribute to addressing labor shortage in Austria and to sharing their expertise and commitment to the economic development of Austria,” he added.

Cacdac’s statement was supported by Austrian Federal Ministry for Labor and Economy (BMAW) Secretary Susanne Kraus-Winkler, who noted their strong preference for OFWs in meeting their demand for around 75,000 to 200,000 job openings.

Kraus-Winkler noted an abundance of employment opportunities in Austria, particularly in healthcare, construction, engineering, information technology, tourism, and hospitality.

“Austria is focusing on attracting skilled workers abroad. The Philippines is the first country in which Austria has entered into a memorandum of understanding that covers all areas of mutual cooperation on recruitment and vocational training,” she said.

“Austria has many decades of excellent experience with qualified workers from the Philippines, and we are truly grateful for the reliable support,” added Kraus-Winkler.

Under the MOU, there will be strengthened protection of the rights and welfare of Filipino workers and support while they undergo skills assessment, education, and equivalence training and licensing in Austria.