Twenty company managers discussed with the President of the Region

13. June 2022 13:30, Mgr. Milada Soukupová

Technical education, qualified workforce, employment of foreign workers, cooperation with the Ivano-Frankivsk Region in Ukraine and the possible construction of a factory for the production of batteries for electric vehicles in Líně near Pilsen were the topics of the meeting of the President of the Pilsen Region Rudolf Špoták with twenty CEOs of large employers of the Pilsen Region at a round table. It was organised by the Regensburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday 8 June 2022 at GRAMMER s.r.o. in Tachov. Most of the companies are members of the Employment Pact of the Pilsen Region.

The discussion with the managers of twenty companies was preceded by a visit of the President of the Pilsen Region Rudolf Špoták and Vice President for Regional Development, IT and European Affairs Petr Vanka to BORGERS CS s.r.o. Technical education and employment of Ukrainian refugees became the main topics in this company, which develops and manufactures automotive parts. “The company is currently taking care of 118 Ukrainian refugees and 61 children, including providing them with facilities,” Vladimír Pašek, the company director, informed the regional representatives, adding that they are counting on a 10 percent share of agency employees in the total number of employees. President Rudolf Špoták thanked the company’s management for their care for Ukrainian refugees and informed them about the Pilsen Region’s intention to establish a contact centre in its new partner region in Ivano-Frankivsk Region in Ukraine, with which the Pilsen Region has recently established cooperation, through which direct contacts with Ukrainian companies could be made, not through intermediaries. Rudolf Špoták explained the idea of the Pilsen Region’s management, “It would be a point similar to the one the Pilsen Region has in Brussels and would be intended for the development of cooperation in all areas – cultural, social, touristic and industrial.”

Rudolf Špoták also informed about this intention aimed at further development of cooperation with the new Ukrainian partner during the round table discussion with twenty managers of companies, which are mostly, like BORGERS s.r.o., members of the Employment Pact of the Pilsen Region. In connection with the situation on the labour market, he told them that of the 65,000 refugees employed in the Czech Republic, about 8,200 are currently working in the Pilsen Region. “This shows that many companies are open to employing refugees. Children come with them and this brings with it multiple costs. However, we believe that they will also become employees for you in the future and ultimately it will benefit you and the company,” Špoták told the managers.

He also commented on their questions regarding the Pilsen Region’s position on the possible construction of a gigafactory focused on the production of batteries for electric vehicles in the area of Líně Airport. In response to the managers’ fears of a drain on the workforce if this new factory were to be built, he stressed that negotiations were at an early stage and that the government, not the Pilsen Region, would decide on the possible construction. “The only thing I want to promise you is that the Pilsen Region will push for the complete social infrastructure to be built first, i.e. schools, kindergartens, roads, connections to the motorway, railways, etc., and only then would the factory be built. We definitely do not want to repeat the situation in Kvasiny,” said R. Špoták.

In relation to the situation on the labour market, where unemployment in the Pilsen Region is at only 2.5 percent, the participants debated vocational education. President Rudolf Špoták informed them that the next three years of pupil numbers in primary schools will still be strong and it is possible to get their attention for technical fields. “We find that we have to take the promotion of technical education down a level. To shift the focus from secondary schools to younger children – primary school pupils. Focus it from secondary schools to younger children – primary school students. We need to stimulate interest in technical fields in them and we need to work with schools so that pupils want to work on machines and in a modern manufacturing environment. This is what we want to focus on next year and introduce them to technical fields,” said President R. Špoták. In this regard, representatives of companies indicated strong support and interest in cooperating on a common goal to the regional management. The Employment Pact of the Pilsen Region is a suitable platform for this cooperation.

The next meeting with the regional leadership at the end of September will therefore be attended, together with the President Rudolf Špoták, by the Councillor for Education and Sport Vladimír Kroc, who will inform the representatives what steps and projects the Pilsen Region is undertaking and preparing in this direction.

The Employment Pact of the Pilsen Region
The Employment Pact of the Pilsen Region is a platform connecting employers, public administration and educational institutions. Its aim is to solve problems on the labour market and support the development of the region’s human capital. It currently brings together 120 partners representing over a third of all employees in the region. It produces analyses and forecasts, organises seminars, and supports cooperation between schools and companies. Implementation of the Employment Pact is ensured by the Regional Development Agency of the Pilsen Region.