Austria in discussions with PHL to fill worker shortage, including healthcare industry

THE Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said it met with a delegation from Austria to discuss the possibility of expanded worker deployments to address Austrian labor shortages, particularly in healthcare.

In a statement issued late Tuesday, the DMW said representatives from the city government of Vienna and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber met with Migrant Workers Secretary Maria Susana V. Ople on Tuesday.

Gunther Wiesinger, chairman of the Austria Vienna Association of Healthcare Facilities at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, said Austria needs about 60,000 to 75,000 healthcare workers, with 200,000 job openings across all industries.

There are about 5,824 overseas Filipino workers in Austria, with 1,220 of these in the hospitality and food service industries and 749 in healthcare and social work, the DMW said, citing 2022 government data.

The DMW, Department of Health, and the Commission on Higher Education plan to launch a scholarship fund for nursing students to ensure employment opportunities after they graduate, Ms. Ople told the delegation.

Ms. Ople noted that the Department of Foreign Affairs advised the government to sign a memorandum of understanding to set guidelines for labor agreements between Austria and the Philippines.

Austrian Ambassador to the Philippines Johann Brieger said both countries will benefit from increased worker deployments to Austria.

“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.”

In January, Ms. Ople said the government is hoping to conduct discussions with Romania, Hungary and Portugal to conclude more labor agreements. — John Victor D. Ordoñez