Cost of labour tops list of Europe’s CFOs

The cost of labour tops the list of concerns of Europe’s chief financial
offiers (CFOs), according to’s latest poll of senior finance
executives conducted in conjunction with Tilburg University in the Netherlands
and Duke University in the US.

A shortage of skilled labour rated second and proposals to loosen immigration
policies, including the EU’s ‘blue card’ programme unveiled in last autumn, have
been welcomed by sectors such as construction and IT.

The EU believes for these sectors to be competitive internationally, 20m
skilled workers are needed over the next 20 years. The blue card programme,
developed along the lines of USA’s green card scheme, is expected by its
proponents to make it easier for professionals from outside Europe to get work
permits in the EU.

However, previous attempts to introduce national green cards have not been
successful. A visa programme launched in Germany in 2000, designed to attract
about 20,000 IT technicians from India and Poland, failed to generate much
interest and was scrapped in 2005.

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