More retirements, fewer job starters: Ticino is challenged, despite and because of the large number of workers from Italy.
Author: Karoline Thürkauf
In southern Switzerland, with its around 350,000 inhabitants, there will be a shortage of around 12,000 workers for the period between 2022 and 2026. The estimate comes from Edoardo Slerca, an economist at the Supsi University of Applied Sciences in Ticino. That should make you think.
Ticino is in a phase where more older people are retiring than younger people are entering the workforce. In addition, the population in Ticino is aging more than in the rest of Switzerland, which means that the shortage of skilled workers will be felt earlier.
Cross-border commuters are not a panacea
So far, the issue of the shortage of skilled workers has hardly caused any concern because the gaps are being filled with Italian cross-border commuters. However, these 80,000 workers tend to be younger than the Ticino workers. In a few years, this will further exacerbate the shortage of skilled workers in Ticino. According to Slerca, many cross-border commuters will also be retired in around ten years.
In addition, many retirements are pending in Italy, which will turn the local labor market upside down. It is quite possible that there will be so many good jobs in their own country for people from the greater Milan area in the future that they will no longer want to work in Ticino.
Goal: to lure and lure home
According to Slerca, the new cross-border commuter agreement could be a trump card for southern Switzerland. This means that these foreign workers will have to pay more taxes at their place of residence in Italy in the future. That could make her move to Ticino. Attracting new residents and making sure that more young Ticino residents don’t leave – that’s what the future will be about, according to the scientist.
Caption: The shortage of skilled workers is one of Switzerland’s major problems. The situation in Ticino is particularly challenging due to demographics. Keystone/Jean–Christophe Bott
At the same time, intensive work is being done to persuade Ticino people to return home, adds Stefano Rizzi, Director of the Ticino Department of Economic Affairs. For example, with a cantonal website on which young Ticino students studying outside the canton are offered holiday jobs in Ticino. In this way they got to know everyday life in Ticino companies and then possibly returned after their studies.
Overview only partially guaranteed
In terms of job transparency, southern Switzerland can get even better. Because many of the vacancies are not advertised. This is because the Ticino economy consists primarily of micro-enterprises that do not have a human resources department. Many jobs are therefore assigned underhand.
There are a lot more places than you think.
According to researcher Slerca, the number of jobs advertised on public channels is nowhere near the number of actual vacancies. “There are many more jobs than you think.” A transparent labor market is an important element in attracting new employees in the fight against the shortage of skilled workers. The challenges of winning this fight are very great. Ticino is much earlier and more challenged than other cantons.