Automation will increasingly be on the rise, not only as part of progress and advancement, but rather as a result of the need to resolve the shortages in some occupations. It is thus no exaggeration to say that we will have robots in the fields in the near future.
The Serbian labour market is suffering from the consequences of global trends. The brain drain is a global phenomenon that’s being faced by most countries around the world. From this region, young people want to go to the EU; from some European countries, young people want to go to the U.S. etc. Moreover, Serbia has unfavourable demographic trends, and demography impacts on the labour market and the economy, and vice versa. We have a low birth rate, high mortality and a high level of emigration, all of which impact negatively on the labour market.
We already have occupations that are in short supply, not only when it comes to highly qualified personnel in the field of IT, such as data scientists and data analysts, but also when it comes to jobs like traders, warehousemen, forklift drivers, as well as workers for various occupations in construction and agriculture. The cost of labour for these occupations is on the rise on the market, while the economy is turning to some other solutions when it comes to staff shortages, such as automation and the importing of labour, which are already evident on the market.
Switzerland tops the list of countries when it comes to innovation and global competitiveness, representing an excellent example of actively dealing with the brain drain topic
We are witnessing, for example, that we already have foreign workers in the construction sector, while automation will also increasingly be on the rise, not only as part of progress and advancement, but rather as a result of the need to resolve the shortages in some occupations. It is not a complete hyperbole to suggest that, for instance, if we don’t have enough workers for some jobs, say in agriculture, that we will have robots working in the fields in the near future.
Serbia must choose as a society the direction it wants to go when it comes to circular migrations. And that direction will determine whether we will import cheap labour or high-quality workers and digital nomads. We already have initiatives that encourage and ease the return of our diaspora to the country, and as a country we shouldn’t prevent young people who want to go abroad to study. Instead of that, we should create such a society that compels them, after a certain period of time there, to want to return to the country.
I’ve always found the example of Switzerland interesting, where they identified the brain drain problem 20 years ago and worked intensively to reverse the trend. Their model has shown that investing in innovative professions leads to faster economic development, the growth of competitiveness and improved living standards, and this ensures that the country has become more attractive for young and old to stay in or return to the country, while attracting other, high-quality workers from other countries. Switzerland tops the list of countries when it comes to innovation and global competitiveness, and I think it represents an excellent example of actively dealing with the brain drain topic. I would like us, as a country, to head in that direction and feel the positive effects of circular migrations.