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Unions predict more jobs immigration

The union federation Travail Suisse has predicted that more foreign workers will come to Switzerland to meet the skills shortage.

In an effort to open a debate on how best to handle the influx of new arrivals required by the economy, Travail Suisse put forward its position at a media conference in Bern on Tuesday.

“Faced with an ageing population and a skills shortage in Switzerland,  a relaxing of the admissions policy is necessary,” the group’s president Martin Flügel said.

The union group laid down its four conditions for the opening up of the labour market: strict controls of salaries and working conditions, compulsory training for foreign workers, the creation of a federal commission involving the social partners and an appropriate two-way integration policy.

Travail Suisse also called for fairer treatment for the estimated 100,000 undocumented workers (“sans-papiers”) working in Switzerland, and specifically access to training for young people in that situation.

The skills shortage is particularly acute among engineers, teachers, the health professions and in the IT sector.

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