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500 skilled OFWs to be deployed annually to Austria as jobs open up —DMW

More job opportunities for overseas Filipino workers have opened in Austria following the signing of a memorandum of agreement on the employment of Filipino professionals and skilled workers there, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said Wednesday.

Under the MOU, 500 Filipino workers will be deployed annually to address Austria’s demand of around 75,000 to 200,000 job openings across all industries, including sectors of healthcare, construction and engineering, information technology, and tourism and hospitality.

DMW Officer-in-Charge Hans Leo J. Cacdac signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Austrian Federal Ministry for Labor and Economy (BMAW) State Secretary Susanne Kraus-Winkler.

“Through this agreement, 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. 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,” Cacdac said in a statement.

“Austria is focusing on attracting skilled workers abroad. The Philippines is the first country which Austria has entered into a memorandum of understanding that covers all areas of mutual cooperation on recruitment and vocational training. Austria has many decades of excellent experience with qualified workers from the Philippines, and we are truly grateful for the reliable support,” Kraus-Winkler said.

Cacdac said the partnership maintains the well-established friendship, cooperation and mutual respect between the Philippines and Austria, especially in terms of labor and employment.

The MOU includes strengthened protection of Filipino migrant workers’ rights and welfare and support as they undergo skills assessment, education, and equivalence training and licensing in Austria.

A work-based vocational training framework and other technical capacity-building initiatives was also agreed upon to upgrade the skills and expertise of Filipino workers.

Both countries also vowed to work hand in hand to address illegal recruitment and human trafficking, and to ensure adequate access to legal assistance and social protection for OFWs.

The DMW cited 2022 data that there are currently 5,824 OFWs in Austria, including 1,220 who work in the hospitality and food service category and 749 in the health and social work service sector. — Jamil Santos/BM, GMA Integrated News