Skills Provision talks Romania- Ep 4


Hello and welcome to the Skills Provision podcast. On today's episode, we will be discussing Romania. But first, a little about skills provision. We are an international groupment agency and on this podcast, from week to week, we discuss various different topics around recruitment and related employment topics. On today's episode, we have myself, Francesca, we also have Chris. Hello, everybody. We have Pete. Hi. And we have Dan joining us today. Hello, everyone. Brilliant. So, being the youngest on this podcast, I feel like I've got less to offer from a history perspective when it comes to Romania. Dan will come to you. It's just for our listeners out there, for everyone's benefit. Dan himself, Romanian national, living in Romania, so he's going to be able to give us a real kind of first hand experience and account of his time through various different phases that have entered and gone through Romania. So, Chris, first of all, tell me a little bit about the history of Romania and say the last sort of, I don't know, 50 years, because I'm the oldest one on the podcast. It may have something to do with that. Okay, last 50 years. I would say the biggest change was the Berlin Wall coming down and the consequence of that as far as Romania was concerned, and most other Eastern European countries breaking away from the domination of Russia and becoming free states with your indulgence. I would just like to say something about the ancient history of Romania. Although I wasn't alive at this time, I was going to say we're talking about when you were like 1313. Yeah. And I were busy on a tour in Romania. It's a very ancient society and very well known for all sorts of things that if you are on a way, you wouldn't know. We all know about Brand Stoker and Transylvania and Dracula and all the rest of it, but they've got very famous history. I read up only in the last few days about the fact that I always thought whistle invented the jet engine, but apparently a Romanian did, which was news to me. And also the history. They're very much of Roman orientated society, strong historical links, particularly with France, which Dan might pick up on later, but no doubt we'll cover what's happened in the last 30 to 40 years as we move through the podcast. Yeah. Now, Pete, you kind of offer a slightly different perspective from your time in the military and things like that. I don't know, was Romania ever a country that you kind of had any exposure to? No, kosovo not too far away. We had a nice six month tour there on the power station, sucking in the fumes that were we thought we're all going to die within a year. And then they got the environmental health people out to say that we were fine because the particles were breathing in all day were actually too big to cause any problems. So weird, I've had a property in I owned a property in Bulgaria not too far, transited through Romania a few times driving there and a six month tour of duty incosable. Okay, Dan, I suppose over to you now, not being on this planet as long as Chris, but your experience for you in Romania, give us a little bit of history about yourself and then about what you have seen Romania evolve to be today. Well, I cannot say I'm a witness of the history of Romania six years ago. That my entire age. Still I can say that not only the jet jet engine was discovered by Henry Kwanda, Romanian native also the penal was also made by Romanian native also. We have one of the earliest written evidence over 6000 years ago. And there is some strange thing because Chris mentioned Romans. Well, you know, actually Romans occupied only about 40% of old Romania called Dutch in that time. The other part, 60%, they cannot occupy it. How big was if the Roman Empire they stumbled on a piece of peanut like that in front of them? There is another thing. We are a Latin language speaking surrounded by flat language speaking or Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary if you want, also is not Latin language. So all around us we are on island a flat in country. We've maintained our language. So if I can hear someone for 1500 years ago speaking, I can understand him. So he maintained our language. I can say since Christ to the current place that's not about our history on a large view. Okay. About me and my view of Romania inside of skill provision. I can say that I've been with skills provision a few years already. I don't remember how many, four or five. But that was the best part of my life. Okay, so in terms of you with recruiting, because obviously an employment and stuff, and that's where the main focus of our podcasts are. What has been your experience or involvement with regards to recruiting from or to Romania? Just kind of give me some examples of maybe industries you've worked with. Well, at the beginning of my recruiting career I started to recruit care assistance to work in the UK from Romania. Of course, that was before Brexit. And what I found in that time, and I still can find now, is kind of reluctance of Romanian candidates on that level speaking so low skilled or unskilled workers to prove evidence of what they can actually do. They don't see the meaning of CV of a simple resume. They don't see why they should send you references, why they should send you documents. They know what they have to do. That's in their view. I cannot find them totally guilty of this feeling coming after 40 years of communists when you actually didn't need this because you finished high school and you were kind of compulsory to go to work otherwise go to jail. So you don't need a CV, you don't need reference, you don't need qualification, because everything is sent directly from the system to your next job, where you will actually get retired after 40 years of work. And that was the convoy system. Nobody during four years understood what CV means. And what is that for? Massive change, isn't it? It's a massive change in mentality. And do you feel like you've seen that change more now, obviously, some years ago, since those changes? Yeah, there is a change. There is a change, especially in the skilled and highly skilled candidates. They know now that they need and they know actually what they learned to they learn to market themselves, which is very good. Would you say that that had anything to do with the fact that Romania had if you can do the work, you've got a job, if you can't do the work, you're fired on the spot, no notice periods and all the rest. So the burden of paperwork that we have in the west was deemed to be unnecessary. Well, no, I was saying that during a common time, during 45 years period, there was no need even to have skills or to prove your skills. Nothing. Yeah, you got put in a job and that was it, and you had to suck it up and do it, and if you couldn't, that was it. You were going to do it regardless. In most of the cases, there was even not necessary for you to understand what you're doing or to know something. Mostly either you have to mock that you are working towards government company and anyway, you are taking the salary, the same salary, even if you are working with you, even if you are not. And promotions, so called promotions were more done. If you are a coverist party member, if you are syndicate member or union member or something like this, anything was related to be a communist leader or aspire to be a communist leader. If you were a person like this, then, yes, you are promoted, you have increases in your salary, but there is nothing connected to your skills, nothing connected to your profession. So all these things was lost over the 45 years period, then suddenly you need them. And also, Dan, Russian was the second language after the Second World War. It was kind of a second language. It was a compulsory language to be learned. Personally, I studied about six years Russian in the primary school, but to my shame, I can say only about ten words in Russia. Ten more than I can say from our side. Thank you for that, Dan. From our side and where we've kind of been involved in recruitment with regards to Romania. A lot of our work, as Dan's kind of talked about, is in a pre Brexit world where the demand in the UK, Romanians established themselves to be a hard working group of people and anyone and everyone was kind of leaning towards them for their staff, especially at some of those trade levels. Low skilled agricultural work, health care was a big one. Welding. Chris, I believe you had some Romanian welders. It was everything. We did transactions involving several hundred bus drivers for a national well that's a global player that won a couple of contracts and then found out they didn't have the drivers. So where did they go? Romania and then that's just as a UK example. But we've had workers across Europe, again, a lot across the construction, trade, engineering side of things because obviously Romania benefiting from that freedom of movement since they were added into the European Union and into the Middle East, where a lot of companies view Eastern European as, again, a very good skill set, especially in, say, like the oil and gas and engineering. Pete, I know that your son operates in the oil and gas and engineering side. Has your son ever mentioned about the nationalities that he comes across? Has he been involved with working with many candidates from Romania or employees from Romania? Nothing that I would like to repeat on air, but don't think that bothered to be honest. His young boy works in the oil and gas interest in getting the job done. There's a lot of people that are not interested in getting the job done. They demotivated, self orientated, and he's the complete opposite. Okay. I think he also supervised on quite a few jobs and has done in the North Sea. So I think he has quite a few run ins with various nationalities and nothing singled out. But they're an eclectic mix around together and can cause a few issues. I'd like to do something that I found out last week and something that Chris would be interested in. The Irish examiner on the 19 January this year, it was reported that including the Romanians migrants from Eastern European countries working in Ireland earn an average of 40% less per hour than their Irish counterparts of Consolation Research. Now I do know that we've been strong advocates that the overseas labor that we place should never be considered cheap labor. It is suitable labor. So it's quite alarming to read that as we're moving forward and now into 2023, that 40%. Chris, plainly Pete is wrong, but that's the employers in Ireland deciding on those sorts of levels and mainly those jobs are being filled by Eastern Europeans because the Irish don't want to do them. It's very similar in other countries as well. Germany is a big user of Eastern European labor because the Germans don't want to do the low skilled jobs. You can apply the same to a lot of countries. I think one of the issues that we face in international recruitment is the view of the employer, whoever it may be. Ireland is just one example of viewing that certain candidates from certain countries or economic climates are worth less than their counterparts may be. It's a wrong perception to have, because I'm very much of the opinion if someone's doing the same job as someone else, they should be paid exactly the same. That goes to the same thing for nationality, for gender, because you hear a lot about women being underpaid and yeah, I think that's especially considering how far along we are now, I'd be expecting hearing something like that. 40%, pete, if I'm honest. I don't know, 510 years ago, I'm surprised to be hearing statistics like that still being so prevalent. Yeah. And the list of countries these EU cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia. So, as Chris said, these are employer. There's nothing in place to stop it happening, is there? That's the problem. There isn't within the EU, but there isn't in certain other countries where you have to pay any work at the same rate after a qualifying period. And the qualifying period is quite short. It's about 13 weeks. And that's why, if you like, the UK is not on the list. I think that information that you just shared, Pete, kind of leads me on to about different countries. Now, Romanians, or my exposure to Romanians has been a lot more focused on people wanting to leave Romania, and Romania is seeking work outside, as opposed to perhaps placing into Romania. So, according to Statista, in terms of where Romanians are looking to work, there's about at least 8 million Romanians that are living outside of the country's borders, according to estimates by the State Secretary. However, that number is probably higher. There'll be a lot of people that we don't necessarily all know about. But in terms of countries, what do you think is the top country that Romanians are traveling to? What's your guess? Dan? What's your guess? Which country do you think is top? Well, currently, I may speak on 2022, just started. There's no date associated with this information, so I'd say it's the most recent information that was available. So let's say over the last couple of years. Over the last couple of years, the first place would be Germany. Excellent guy. So the last couple of years, that means after Brexit, because before Brexit, the UK was one of the leading countries, and after Germany, we have Belgium and Netherlands. And then it's coming Ireland. Ireland is coming on this position only because of the geographical position, geographical distance, actually, from Romania. So the other countries actually, they said, have quite high percentage. Italy about 15% and Spain about 11%. When the migration started in Italy and Spain, and that was because Italian language is 70%, same like the Romanian language, and Spanish language is about 45% to 50%, same like Romanian language. So it was very easy for a Romanian person to accommodate into their countries. Now the salaries, as you know, in Italy are not excellent. In Spain also, what they found there and they built a community around was almost the same kind of people, if I can put it like this, there are Latin people also, so it's more easily for us to get more near to them instead of going to Germany, which are slapped people. And they are more strict in some ways, including there's a problem where Western European companies, people underestimate the people in the east big time. And I know skills provision placed a Polish worker into South Yorkshire Coal Company and he was the best person they'd ever seen. And as I said earlier, when I was on about I worked in the military in Kosovo. It's not Romania, but it's not that far off. We employed 20 or 30 local engineers. There's a goodwill thing after their house, we bombed them, then the Serbs are in there torturing them and burning them out, the houses and all that kind of stuff. We employed a group of them, not great to start with. And then within a month, at a level that was a lot higher than our own, engineers had crazy standards and amazing workers. So there's always been this thing with me of you need to be careful who you underestimate just because people are paid lowly or look down upon treated poorly. There's some very, very clever operators in the east, skills in the skills area. But, Dan, why are so many Romanians working internationally? There are many reasons, and for one of them, I'm also working kind of internationally, or if I'm working from home, getting your skills recognized inside of the country is almost impossible. We have as educated, let's say, entrepreneurs, actually, the ex smugglers during the Communist time, who was managing to steal millions, and then when the time comes, they just invested. They took advantage of the fact that there was no legislation for anything almost after the 1990. So they built millions. They built millions on bribing, on smuggling. And after that, they start showing off like big entrepreneurs without actually having any entrepreneurial skills or education. And this is what our employers are, most of them, and this is what our, let's say, targets looks like for the young generation. What's the average salary in Romania, Dan? Currently the average salary is about, I would say about £500. Do you give it in Romanian money? Is that gross or net, then? Net speaking. Okay. The exodus is because of economic reasons of having to find a better quality of life somewhere else. So I was going to say, just on that point, according to statista, the top three reasons that have been given for workers leaving Romania corruption, 33%, 31.3% sorry, poor living standards, around the 30%, and then 21.8. So it's called it 22% is the lack of job opportunities. And that just shows you some of the reasons. But with your, I suppose, recruiter head on, what do candidates come to you looking for when they're looking for an opportunity? Well, I had various range of candidates, so I had candidates looking for just for a better income without having a future view of where they will spend that income, actually. And on what they just compare, like told you, the £500 salary from Romania with £1500 in the UK, let's say. But there is no such a comparing problem. And I found also candidates, quite highly skilled candidates, rushing out of Romania in order to find a country where they can grow their kids better. And that was what it was like a stone in the head for me. So you are running away from your country and trying to find a country where to make a future for your kids, not for yourself, even that in your own country, you are making like four to 5000 euro per month without a problem. So money is not a problem. That's going to have a knock on effect of the future generations, isn't it? It's bleeding for lack of the country dry somehow. It is good, and I will tell you why as long as it remains. In the last 33 years, the educational system was smashed, was turned into pieces. Our only chance is for the youngest generation who has educated either in the UK, in Ireland, France or wherever, and they are coming with the education from there back to Romania and rebuild. Because from here you will not believe what is with the educational system. There is no more educational system, actually. We have young people finishing high school, 1819 years old and don't know where to go further. So where did the It skills come from then? Done. The It skills was starting two years back, years back, out of curiosity of some people who are searching over the internet and some young guys who are just looking into a computer and trying to hack something. Not necessarily going with the best of intentions to start with, not necessarily. But from these best intentions was born a school, was born in Romania, It school. They started to get classes on the internet and then they started to teach others what they learned. And step by step, they had the time, they had the mindsets and the ambition to overcome any other nationality, let's say. And that is because, as someone said before, I don't think I remember getting increased, that Romanians were seen as low skilled, as something which you are not exactly willing to give a high responsibility job. So they were trying always to overcome this stone and they made it. We have now two It hubs, pretty big. We have Romanian language as a second language in Microsoft. Yeah, we have pretty much other targets accomplished by these guys. They're pretty big now and they know what they're asking for, they know what they are doing. But it's not just it dan, is it? I think in a way, we're painting a very bleak picture of Romania because there's a lot of strengths that Romania still has. Oil and gas is one. It's one of the oldest oil and gas industries in the world. Shipping is another strong one as well. And because of the French Connection, which you might want to add to in a second, dan Daisia is leading car producer in Romania. So it's not all black news, is it? Well, actually all this strength is coming from the old school. And we have some industries where we still have some old teachers who are really doing the efforts there now. They are doing their job normally. That's the oil and gas, as you mentioned. There is also the Maritime School, which is also very highly recognized internationally. The it part, and I think that's about it, because the jobs like normal job as a turner, as a welder, they're going to like a three month school to get a welder certificate or a chef certificate. And that's not a welder after three months. That's not a chef after three months. Definitely not. Can be a junior or I don't know if it's anything under the junior. Okay, so we've been talking a lot about exporting from Romania. What about recruiting into Romania? What have you seen happening in that respect? In conversations that I've had with some candidates who are potentially looking to either go back Romanian nationals themselves, or we get a lot of candidates from African and Asian nations considering Romania as a place for them to move to. Have you seen an increase in demand for workers from outside of Europe? There is an official increase of requests from workers from outside of Europe, let's say from Asian workers more exactly. And that's going in almost all low skilled and unskilled job in construction job is going in restaurants, it's going in delivery jobs like this. So they are monthly importing about 40,000 low skilled or unskilled workers from Asia. In what time frame? In a year. Is that? In a year? In a year, yeah. It's almost like it causes a global game of musical chairs where the Romanian lower end skills look to move to the west to do better pay, bring their families up, all that kind of stuff, leaving a void behind them, then gets filled by the Asians who come in. They'll probably stay for ten years, they'll start moving to the west and the Africans will follow them behind them. Very much like what's happening in the food industry in the UK. And I think when the Africans have done industrial, they're not going to work in difficult conditions for very little. That'll be the end of it. There won't be any law school workers willing to do the work. And the next generation my kids won't work for, they're still to work for their mother for about twelve pound an hour. And there's no way, you know what I mean? They want their Lewis anything under 2300 pound interested. So it's where is the next generation of law school workers going to come from? Because they aren't going to satisfy the whole of the world. You see that, Christopher, with the polls, where initially it was the polls into the UK, they got greedy, moved Scandinavia, moving away, then the Romanians, Bulgarians, Latvians, then obviously Brexit happened. And also you've got another part of Europe here, the bit that lies to the east, what's commonly called Eastern Europe. Kosovo would be one example, but the main player there would be the Ukraine, and they were a huge exporter of people before the Ukrainian war. Turkey has been a great source of labor as well. Poland, you mentioned they took in one and a half million Ukrainians for tackle reasons, you say, because the people to do the low skilled job have gone off elsewhere and so the void needed to be filled. Yeah, and I think something I just want to touch on, though, I think we have talked a lot about the lower skilled roles, but it's important to note that those aren't necessarily just the only skills that are available. And we have touched on it being one, but according to statista, over two in five, which is about 44% of remaining that work in a senior or specialist position, and that's about 14% higher than the global average. But when it comes to the manager or executive level, it is lower than counterparts for, say, Western Europe. And what you find is sometimes is that certainly in the food industry and others where the law skilled workers may be predominantly Romanian, and then they will want Romanian supervisors and managers because they're more suited to dealing with them. So they sort of bring in the hierarchy thereafter at the mid and upper level. Again, I'm going to sort of take issue a little bit with what Dan said about the education system. We find that the people are very well educated and have linguistic skills and are up there with any other nationality. Do you think there's become this expectation amongst Romanian nationals that it's kind of expected maybe at some point that they're going to have to go abroad or that is the way that it goes that going to work abroad and then maybe return home is the new norm. For example, comparing it to, say, somewhere like the Philippines in conversations with colleagues, where just taking health care as an example, nearly every family has a nurse, and the idea for that nurse is that they're going to go work abroad and be able to send money home by moving to those better paid countries. Do you view that Romanians view themselves as a commodity? And I don't mean that in a disrespectful way, but they know their value, they know that they're wanted, they know their value, they know that they are wanted, but they don't like to see themselves as a commodity. Okay, yes, they can be seen as something valuable in a company. It doesn't matter if it's Romanian or Slovenian or German company, but not as a commodity. They cannot bear the thought that they can be exchanged for something, that their value can be exchanged for something. That's right, Dan. In my experience, the Eastern Europeans maybe follow on from Communist times or whatever. They tend not to say a lot. You know, where you can get the American British Canadians there else shout and scream, how good they are, everything and all this kind of stuff. When I was working in Kosovo with the managing the 30 local tradesmen, as well as 70 or 80 British British Army, there was one man, local, fairly elderly, who appeared to know everything about what was going on and all. He was that good. We just let him get on. He was managing the boys and helping show him what to do on equipment he'd never seen before and was fairly amazing. After about two or three months, I was speaking to someone and said it was like a liaison officer who is the east. I've never seen anyone like him operate before. Don't say anything, you smile. Hello, good morning. That's about it. And he went, oh, whatever his name was, he's the number one aircraft technician in the whole of Kosovo. I was like, Aircraft, we're fixing vehicle. He goes, he knows it all. He'll be here because you'll be paying good money. But he just loves the work, he loves the people, and he never said anything. Number one man, engineer, no matter what, in the whole of the country, and you couldn't get two peeps out of him about he just saw underWell. You learn a lot from these people and there's some humility lessons to build in as well. And it was just fantastic. The whole experience of managing these guys for probably best part six months was special, something that stayed with me and I learned a lot, a lot, hell of a lot, certainly, about that area. So you're right, Dan, they're not yeah, they don't view themselves as a commodity and, I mean, they get angry with that. You start treating them poorly or not. They won't be treated poorly. They'll do a fair day's work, fair day's pay, but they will not be mistreated. I think they've had enough of that, to be honest. And that's going to lead me on to kind of the next area I kind of want to move on to is the changes that we've seen either with the workers themselves and the viewpoints, but also changes that we've seen in the demand and hiring from Romania. So one of the first points is knowing their value. So kind of going back to that point that you made earlier in the podcast, Pete, with regards to Eastern European people being paid less. I think that that was very much the perception that a lot of people in the late part of the 2000s, early 2010s, that they were used to being considered a cheaper alternative. But now I think they are aware that they. Shouldn't be expected to be paid less, and they are worth as much as anyone else. But the whole mix has changed. Back in the day, when you were saying they were cheap labor, there was large levels of unemployment around and therefore people could use the cheap approach as a reason for employing people, and certainly in many countries driving down their costs to try and remain competitive in global markets. Now, since COVID we've not touched on COVID and must come back to it. The whole thinking has changed dramatically and the world is short of virtually all skills, anything associated with the Stem industries of global shortages everywhere. And so I think Romanians it diane mentioned the two hubs they've got already. And you've seen inward investment into Romania because of the skills that they've got. And Microsoft having Romanian as a second language. I didn't know that dance. So that's one for me to solve away for the future. Yeah. And it's like in conversations that we've had, I only had weeks ago now with US company and finding out. So we're primarily US based, but our engineering team is all in Romania, and it shows the value and the strength of Romania as a whole. Yeah, romania as a whole. But as Chris mentioned, manufacturing part of employing everything. What is actually cannot be done online is going to screen for people. And that's because during COVID one of the reasons can be that during COVID we learned that we can stay at home, work from home, that's not everything can be done from home. Do you think there's a massive mentality shift then in terms of people looking more for those either remote or hybrid work opportunities and less people wanting to do those in person roles? Well, there was a lot of layoffs during COVID Those people had to reorganize themselves to look for another opportunities in that time. And in that time, the only opportunity was online. So they kind of reconverse their job. Now they understood that, okay, I can work either from home, either from the top of the mountain or from the sea, and I can have a good family life probably, if they have the time, and I don't need to go anymore to take the hammer. I think COVID came as a huge shock to the whole world. I think that's an understatement. Romanians have reacted exactly the same way as many, many other nationalities. They don't want to be so far from home as they used to be prepared to go. So we've seen a real drop off from Eastern Europeans in general from wanting to take up lower school positions in the Middle East, for example. We've also seen in places like Australia, which is which is 90% international population full of Greeks and Italians and people like that. And Eastern Europeans have just started to embrace people, places like Australia, but now they don't seem to be interested. It's too far from home. It's not only too far from home, crease. I don't know if in the UK was on TV that shows what Australian was putting there during the COVID time. There are hard restrictions and legislation and so on. I personally wouldn't like to go and leave there because I don't know if anything like this happened. Again, I would like to change. I like these remote positions are interesting, where they obviously suit and was suitable for the lazy. I can still watch tell you, no one knows what I'm doing and there'll be a lot of that. But as time has gone on and the remote positions and using remote workers has become more embedded and as such more measurable on performance, work, attitude, the whole categories of those things that we're starting to see. The hard workers have been separated from the lazy, the demotivated, which can use the internet as a blanket to hide behind. And as with all of it, I think there is a place for remote, a big place, but the whole thing is going to have to continually develop until such time as it's the quality workers we're the same place in. We're putting the right people in there because the right people working online doesn't matter. You can make a big difference, can be a big assistance to companies. It's got to be put in, the hard yards have got to be put in and isn't all the time. And with modern communications for a lot of jobs, it doesn't matter where you are, you can do the job just as efficiently. However, and disappointingly, remote job opportunities are beginning to decline. At the moment, my own view is that that is because managers do not know how to manage remote workers. As most of you will know, skills have been working remotely since 2005. So we managed to learn how to do it. And you've got to trust your people and have the controls in place to make sure that they're not pulling the wool over your eyes. I think something else that from my kind of viewpoint is that I feel like in my shorter lifetime there has been this real divide of east and West Europe in terms of the west being Germany and Netherlands being viewed as superior in many ways and the Eastern European nations not being. But I do feel like now when we get inquiries from companies for not just the low skilled workers, but even those higher skilled things, that Romania is definitely considered as a hub to hire from and to look for those opportunities because they are and can be just as well connected and as well experienced. And something else that I kind of feel that and it kind of goes back to the point made at the beginning, is that with so many workers leaving and then looking to return, sometimes those workers have got more of an overall world experience than those who have just only ever stayed within those country. That one location and offer a more broad brush universal exposure. We are seeing more inquiries from Eastern European based companies looking to find workers for their own backyard than we've ever seen before because of the situation that Pete said, it's a merry go round. So in the case of Romania, they're going to Germany, so there's a void. So people in Romania are looking to fill the void. Where did they look? Well, there's Africans and Asians banging on every door, wanting to come in if they can get in. That's just the cycle. Yeah. There also is this East West divide there, Francesca, where there is the criminal elements that seems to emanate from the poorer areas, certainly in the younger generations where they don't have what they want. And there's no point hanging around in the rural areas of the Eastern Europe to deal drugs, weapons, criminal behavior, whereas there will be a bigger market for it in the west. And there is. I was in Berlin when the wall came down, and the first noticeable thing, because when they say the wall came down, there was only a little bit of the wall came down mass. People just ran across just behind the right stagger. A little bit of wall came down initially, but within about six months, the noticeable change was the crime rate went up a lot. And whilst it's a less of an issue, it is a problem like, say, Dan already said that people the average, and you may be at the lower end of the average and the average earnings is £500 a month. Some people want 50 times that. We see it all the time. So these social problems do come. They're generational changes things. It's almost like you need a rebalancing where the wealth is rebalanced. So the wealth of the west is mirrored with the wealth of the east, and then you've just got their normal movements of people for ethical reasons, not other reasons. I don't know the last time. Has there ever been, Chris, where the east and west have had like a wealth balance? Not that I'm aware of, Pete. There are countries who have got economic strength and wealth and others that haven't. But you can see things are changing rapidly with the emergence of China, as now the number two country in the globe, and India is up to number four, I think. And good old Great Britain has dropped from third to 8th. I don't know where Romania now focuses down. Have you got any idea? Well, for the moment, I cannot see a focus exactly for Romania. Everyone is just focusing on his own pocket. So there is no common national focus. We have seen what Chinese in that area registering skills provision, the numbers are higher than ever and increasing. So things are changing. And Dan, in terms of from your experience on the ground, are there any other changes that you've noticed, say, over the last ten years because we've covered a lot of history, but this is not a history podcast. What changes have you seen with regards to employment and recruiting for you either personally or in your work that you've been doing with us? Well, there is a change. There is a slight improvement either in the employer side, remaining employers, either in the employer's candidate side, they slowly start to understand that they need each other. Actually there is no place where just employers stay without the employees and other way around. So they started to kind of reach to small agreements between the employees and manager, general manager and so on. What I've noticed inside of the country is a decrease of manifestations. The historic union is taking out the people because there is low salary or so on. No, they are not reaching to that point anymore. So fast it might happen like two to three times a year in the whole country. They start to understand that they need each other and they have to somehow accommodate each other. It's a small step, but it's a good step. Because from here they will start to understand that everyone candidates on their side, they have to show themselves, market, improve themselves, train and increase their skills level and employers on their side, they will have to understand that in order to have a good business, you need to have branded competitive employees. That's what we are going to. But small steps from your point with regards to recruiting into Romania, I know we have touched on the fact that with unemployment levels having dropped and this whole cyclical nature of country taking other countries workers, what nationalities have you seen most recently looking to relocate to Romania? And in what kind of skills has it always been those lower skilled roles? According to Bradford Jacobs, about 18% of the workforces. Sorry, let me try that again. Apparently the highest percentage of non local European Union citizens in its workforce at 18%, romania is the highest within the European Union. Would you say that that is true, what you see? Because just for the difference out there, Dan, where abouts in Romania are you based? Well, based on seaside east side of Romania, constant and answer to your question, the most required nation here is Nepal and Dennis coming Philippines, and the most jobs offered for landing construction, not engineering, skilled or unskilled. And in forresterance hotels or ecosystem. Okay, Dan, if I could just go back to something you said a lot earlier. You said that the average income in Romania was around £500 in somebody's pocket each month and if they came to Europe it would be about £1500 in their pocket. Could you just walk us through how Romanians look at international job opportunities, perhaps using Germany as an example because it's where we see it most. Well, they are looking not exactly for the job opportunity as for the kind of wealth opportunity, if you want at that level. It can be a wealth. If you are running away from if you're running away from 300 euro per month to 1500, that's kind of a lot of money. So they're looking for the financial motivation part and they're comparing what they are getting, what they are sending. For example, if I'm employed in Romania, and I have here, let's say, an average 500 euro per month net salary. Now, I know that this amount of money I need to put into my family expenses every month. And if I'm going to work in Germany, as I said, and I'm going to be paid there for 1500 kilo, but out of 1500, I have to pay 500 for the rent, another $500 for my own living there, then it will remain $500, actually the same money which I'm making home, which I have to send home. So I'm leaving the home for nothing. Which means their calculation is to cover the home expenses and to have some spare money apart from their monthly normal expenses, like rent, facilities, whatever they are spending the money on outside. Okay? And they're very well versed into how maybe German companies operate. And therefore we'll know that the going rate for a welder is X euros per hour and they'll be looking for X euros per hour and they won't be looking to do a cheap deal. No, the experience they got, from what they speak with other people and other they understood that they have to have a price for their work and that the minimum price is generally what they heard of some friends that they are taking. So if they heard someone that is taking like 20 euro per hour, okay, they said, I can take them 20 euro per hour, why should they work for us? So if I'm coming with a 19 euro, it's 17 euro per hour, they said, no, my price is 20. Chris, you're the financial guru here. Exchange rates. So we got £1 to 5.5 Romanian lou, I think it's pronounced, but the average wage is £500 per month, which to me indicates that if you're over, it's a bit like it's balance in favor of the Romanians, isn't it? Yeah. In Romania. Courtesy about $2,500. You employ someone in the UK and as a remote worker, they're Romanian living in Romania, you pay them £1000 per month and they're actually in their own currency, they're going to get five and a half thousand lev. I'm not sure what the loot or the loo. I don't see what the louis to the euro should be. Similar is 4.95. Yeah. It's almost like it's a bit like our workers in India, isn't it? That we and Francesca often joke about is that they're better off than we are, much lower cost of living than we do. Yes, but someone it doesn't matter, it doesn't have to be remain here. It could be anywhere working remotely. If they're paid a Western related wage and they're working remotely they're making in local terms before June. Yes, which is probably why they're happy to work. I mean, I'm not sure about whether the remote workers in Romania, whether it's on the increase it ever increased. I'm not sure. Well, the examples that we have seen are mainly related to the It sector. And people go to Romania in the belief that they will be able to get workers at a beneficial rate overall, but it will still be at a premium to what the locals would earn with local businesses, but probably at a discount to what the employer would have to pay locally. But isn't that always been the case everywhere? No. Me and Francesca need to move to Romania. I know that much, don't we, Francesca? I think the thing is I think what I see is this, and it's a common theme with employers across not just for Romania, but it's they come with a shopping list, if you will, of what they want to. See on a candidate or a candidate have. And there'll be ten different things maybe on that shopping list. But they want to pay them for someone. They want someone to have eight years experience, but they're only paying the market rate of what someone in two years is going to have experience. And they think that sometimes that translates that, okay, I can't get eight years. Sorry, I can't find eight years experience of the price I want to pay, I don't know, in country. So I'll go out country and hope to get the same kind of value for money. Sometimes that will work. And I think, again, every worker is different. It depends what their value and what they value. Money is one thing that we talked about, but Dan has touched on some other things, and it's like opportunities for family, opportunities for the wider kind of betterment of your life. So I think so many factors can be taken into consideration. But do you I know this kind of leads me on to the future, if you will. What do you see? And we'll go around the imaginary table. What are you seeing into the future when it comes to Romania? Pete, let's go with you. As you don't work in the recruitment side, from your perspective in general, where do you see Romania going? I have no idea, to be honest. But I know where we're going, and that's a continuation of this unseen discrimination that's out there where people are coming to us and saying, we want some polls, we want some Romanians, we want some Latvians, we want British, we want Western, want American. No, we don't work that way. We will do a lineup. We will produce all these suitable people here. Nationality won't be relevant. It will be skills and ability based with the matching the criteria we will place into the client zone. You choose who you want, but we will not lean towards you want Romania. We'll just put Romania in there. You want any edits, this is where we need to move away from. And then when you start educating people and they start looking and saying, wow, you've got some good Romanians in here and you've got some good there's good everywhere. It's our job to find them, we don't discriminate. And I think that that's where we're going to go. And how will that affect Romania and Romanian people? They'll probably get a fair crack of the whip down the road, rather than being typecast into where you're only good for working on the building sites and you're only good for this and you're only good for that. They'll be integrated in as as long the same as everyone else. And then finally the sort of humorous part now where in England you sort of don't know where people come from because you go out and you can be in the shop or just started going back to shops with a wife. Now the kids have left home. You get a sort of semiaxent of something and you're like normally some are like Kazakhstan, but spans 80, 90% English. They've been here that long. Now, their languages, it is Yorkshire. Yeah, but they're not from here and they could be the Romanians and all. And at one time you knew that was straight away. Now you're just not sure. And as far as the further we go down the road, Chris, they're going to sound more English than what me and you do. You have not got a clue where people come from. Nowhere in the world you could be served in a restaurant by any nationality there is around the globe. But to go back to the way I see Romania into the future, the one thing that Dan said that does concern me is if there is an absence of investment in education, then that is not good news for the people. If, however, they continue to produce the skills that they've been producing somehow or another in the last 20 or 30 years, and the people are interested in working internationally, I would feel quite happy to have polls in your lineup to put the four clients sorry, romanians in the lineup to put the four clients. I also see, because the economy in Romania is weak, that it is ripe for inward investment. We are seeing it already. Sorry to hark on about Dacia, but they've been investing so renault have been investing so heavily in Romania. How many vehicles does Dacia produce in Romania, Don? Any idea? Well, if you want to refer the investment inside of the country, we can see an increase on this part. And we can see a big increase on this part. I mean, there are billions invested after the COVID and most of them come in after the Ukrainian war that actually the opportunity was higher. Ukraine was the main supplier of grain for Europe. We all know that once they are in the world, their graves were stuck at our border. Of course we release them and let them into the world as soon as it was possible. But on the other side, the opportunity was for us to take over, to cray on this part. So hence was the investors coming and trying to, as they saw the opportunity, trying to take a profit out of that. But the legislation was not exactly what they were looking for. The fiscal legislation, the financial legislation is changing like every three months, which is not exactly giving stability, especially in agriculture. When you are looking for at least one year to add profit, it's not have fiscal legislation. What's the effect of the war in Ukraine had Romania on the economy, housing prices, people wanting to move into the area to work or anything like that? Well, I'll start it with housing prices and I will start with just the examples I have locked here in Constanta. So right after the war, as everyone knows, as all the world knows, we kind of open our borders for the war. Immigrants, Ukrainians and we realized then that actually the one who came first was the smugglers from Ukraine who were starting buying blocks of apartments, renting apartments on an offering, when the price for an apartment is, let's say 300 euro per month and you are coming and you are offering publicly 450 euro per month. So you are not taking the offer for 300, but you're offering 450 because you want it now, then the price increase, of course. So one way or another, they came with a lot of money on the Romanian market, which was leading to inflation. On the other side, the Romanian government, with the help of Brooksel provided to each Ukrainian immigrant kind of monthly income, which by the way is a bit higher than the average Romanian guy is taking working. And that means another amount of money on the market without covered by work. So, yeah, they produce inflation. First of all, it is about working. Ukrainian people working in Romania. I think there are no more than 5000 top as a number of Ukrainians who are working in Romania right now, because there is no need to work. Actually the government is giving you money to stay there in rent, so there is no need for work. And if it's a circle completed route and go back to the beginning when we're talking about horse and carts, lennon war and all this, these times, what's the feeling in Romania regarding military action, putin and expanding into Romania? In the beginning there was a fear that was in the beginning a year or something ago when the war started. So right now it's more like everybody's board again, putting again warheads again, rockets change the channel, something like this. We clearly understood that everything is political and there's nothing going to be for real threats. Okay. My perspective in terms of what I can see happening and also some things that I'd like to see. I echo both Dan and Chris's concern with the fact that there's that lack of education. How does the future look? All of these companies that are looking to expand, regardless of where they're from and they open an entity or whatever it may be within the country, I do feel and how this would happen, I would never claim to know, but I do feel like they should be the ones also investing in the educational side of things. If they're looking to expand their operations in, they should be looking to give back to the community, the country, to try and promote you're, right, yeah. In theory, I was going to say theory is a wonderful thing. Particularly, perhaps I could just read something here. It says the Romanian economy performed better than expected, growing at 5% in the first half of 2022 on the back of robust private consumption performance and early signs of investment recovery. And here's the kicker prospects depend on the evolution of the war in Ukraine, its impact on the European economy. I think that probably says it all, doesn't it? Well, I think that certainly the West Britain were, and not realizing, too dependent on the Ukraine, the car market. Many components are made in the Ukraine, specialist components couldn't be made anywhere else. Cars are all of a sudden it's taking two years to get a new car still a problem. And you just see that all this specialist skills items naturally probably will move into Romania, which will be considered more safe because of NATO, part of the EU, this kind of stuff, because it's still needed. I think that's going to happen. Yeah, in theory that's going to happen. That's what's supposed to happen. After it was started, that was supposed to happen. But it's not enough to have a geographical position affordable and to have to be covered by NATO as protection. You have to have the legislation who can allow employers or managers or investors to make predictions for medium and long term. Without prediction, you cannot open a business. One thing I don't think is appreciated is just how close the Eastern European countries are to Ukraine. Because literally you're just across the water in you from Ukraine. Well, I'm about from where I stayed right now, I think I'm about 170 km. That's why I was saying, Chris, about the Escalation, because I know fine well it's not that far away, it's the next block on the next. And if I was an international investor at the moment, I would be very nervous about increasing my investments in most Eastern European countries. Whilst the Putin threat continues. That depends if you see the Putin's threat as a real threat or just as the political show. That's true. And I think that's the thing, isn't it? There's two sides to that, isn't there? Those of us who are fortunate enough that we've not been impacted on a personal level, but I think for those in Ukraine, you feel very different. To feel that is a very real threat, considering what we've seen. Go on. Yeah. For the normal people in Ukraine right now, there is a help absolutely believing literally, in terms of, I suppose, one kind of final point. Dan, and then I think I'll wrap this podcast up, is you the Romanian worker. What do you see as your future as a worker? Where are you looking? What are you looking for? What are your must haves? What are your nice to haves? What does the future look like for you? For me as a Romanian worker? Yeah. Not you as a daniel. You're representing the whole of Romania. We've got you at your revision. Imagine you're representing your country. Your wife done. What's your wife going to do? Yeah, what my wife is going to do? Well, what she is doing. Work, home. Work, home, sleep. Work, home. Work, home, sleep. Never get the plan. Sink. So that's a comedy style. Regarding the future of our workforce, I think this is the direction you are heading with Francesca. Yes, correct. The future is, I can say, bright. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel only. That is a very long tunnel, but you can see the light at the end. As I said, even though the educational system is down, as you said, we have over 8 million people outside. They are educating themselves and sending their kids out there for education, which means the fact that the education system here is down, it will affect our workforce future only in a 50% nature or something. You feel like you've been duped, as in the promise of the EU, money didn't materialize as it was expected or people thought, well, I was very near to burst the promise of the ease. I would just not put it on there. Let's say just when someone is promising you something and is coming from the Brookshill direction does not mean to happen. And one way or another, we are learning currently this. We don't put our hopes in good cells. We put our hopes for our future, for the future of our workforce, in ourselves. And that is a statement of a Romanian citizen for all Romania. Okay? We know definitely that we have the only chance coming from us. Not from Brooksville, not from Moscow, not from Washington or London or Paris or whatever. It's either coming from us or is not coming at all. That's why I said that the educational system in Romania is broken down to pieces, because that was the target of the proxy. But we managed to make our people educated outside of this system, and some of them not 8 million will come back. But if 1 million is coming back of eight, then our workforce will revive, survive and grow better than any other country. I'm pretty sure of that. What about the generation? What. About the early twenty s now done in Romania. What are these doing? Are they finding skilled labor? Are they happy? No, we cannot speak about happiness and skilled labor in Romania on the same level or in the same time. To be skilled at should start working at 16. Honestly speaking, you should start working at 16. So at 20 you have some skills. You have four years experience already, so you have some skills. Finding a job in Romania which will improve your skill and train you for that is really hard. And that's because if you are going as an unskilled, you are treated as an unskilled for the length of your employment contract. No way to go up New Francesca with the age of the skilled workers from Eastern Europe at the elderly. And we're not seeing the early 30s. Right. The breakpoint was really 1989, when the second language moved from Russian to English, and that obviously took a bit of time to work its way through the system. In the very late 1990s, early this century, that you began to see Romanian workers that could speak reasonable English becoming available. But the level is pretty low at the trade level and it has always been a problem, not just with Romania, but Eastern Europeans, is their ability to communicate in another language. And that's why so many of them have ended up taking much lower skilled jobs than perhaps their skills warrant, because they can't communicate. What surprises me that English, fortunately for us, is world language, is why more have not tried to improve their language themselves to open up opportunities. If you look at other countries, that does happen, and particularly with Asians whose parents invest heavily in their education, which includes language training, whereas it's not the thing that's done in Eastern Europe. Yeah, and I think from my point, I think it depends on the industry, depends on a lot of factors as to the types of people we see. I'd say hospitality and those sort of roles, maybe more younger, focused those where perhaps their English language skills are better. But as we say, from a trade perspective, those that are highly skilled tend to be those with the poor level of English, which is a shame, especially with most countries being English as a prerequisite. We're talking about the UK with the visa requirements, english being something that they have to have same if they wanted to go to Australia, New Zealand. There are those minimum languages and that's where the Middle East has done so well, because it doesn't hang its hat on the ability to someone to tick a box in terms of language. They're more after the skills than they are the language. And that's why they've been so successful in recruiting globally and also enable them to recruit people, how do we put it? Advantageous terms and conditions. Have we got the ultimate ticking time bomb here, chris, where I know my son went for an interview with this local company. He's gone in there as a pipe fitter, a quite decent company. He's got untold all this and they were asking him what he done with being his experience, obviously. Worked in Singapore, in the dockyards offshore. Someone said me asking how Audi are 23? And he was absolutely blown away, shocked as they all were, all the directors in the room. Obviously my son is an anomaly and is there going to be a massive global shortage of skilled workers in 30 years? There's a massive shortage now peak, not 30 years now. Airbus, for example, announced, just I read it this morning, that having recruited 13,000 people last year, they're looking for another 13,000 this year, just to handle the projects that they have in line. And they're not going to find those people in their own backyard. They're going to be recruiting globally. And that's what's going to happen is those that have the real skill shortages are going to have to thinking outside the box isn't quite the right expression, but they can't carry on doing the same thing and expecting different results. Well, it's like Dan said, attending a course for three months does not make you a chef. Okay, maybe in some trades you might be able to order skills, a little bit of experience, some of it common sense, but anything that requires a good level of skill, take welding, MiG welding, tig welding, whatever it is, you're not going to learn that overnight. And if the skill is not there and you've been trying, it's not suddenly going to miraculously appear overnight. You've got to look for where those workers are. But you are competing in a global marketplace. Exactly. Wherever the best offer is, is typically where a worker is going to go, but that's the best offer. And then also the best working conditions. And I think that working conditions element is something I especially think in a post COVID world where it is about, okay, if this happens again, what does my life look like? Like we've said, Australia had really extreme closures and rightly so in many ways, but it did mean a lot of workforces and stuff have been damaged as a result of it. I also like go back to that point I've just raised there, Chris, this ticking time bomb that I'm talking about and the 30 year time frame that I estimated is global shortage, where the musical chair game won't fix the problem. What country is investing in skilled labor at the young age? China. Yes. India. India. China. So the west zero. Not just the west, the whole of Europe is zero. And I'm just thinking my son is such an anomaly at such a young age. It was the youngest by a country mile on the oil rigs is like where they're going to come from? They're not just going to materialize people. When all these 40, 50 year olds roles of retired no it's the lack of glamorization of those types of roles, isn't it? A lot of people want to be all these other things that they see because of the internet, social media, whatever. They see all of these other things that those core skills that people had no choice but to go into. Your dad was a carpenter, you became a carpenter, sort of thing. I also think I don't know whether how much this will come into factory things like automation and stuff like that, in terms of I don't know what automation is like in Romania. Dan, maybe you can shed some light on that as to whether those sort of things are going to be replacing those trades and skills that you're talking about, Pete, that may become possibly, I'd like to think, nonexistent. Not nonexistent. Sorry. But this is why registering on the skills provision website and getting your credentials out there is vital because the market is just honestly the balloon that's deflated ever slightly. There's going to be less and less skilled workers. They're going to be more in demand and we're going to have $25,000 already signed up, double that in the next couple of years, be well placed. But we're just one place, one cog in a huge machine. Yeah. Well, I could say that technology in Romania is coming up fast, but it will not replace. There are a lot of jobs to do which cannot be actually replaced by technology can be improved, but not replaced. So these schools still have to exist, these skills are still needed on the market. You said about the carpenter, okay, they have technology now, they have electronic hammers or electrical hammers or whatever, but the carpenter has to be there, right. So this queue will be needed. And believe it or not, all signs of revitalization of this course in Romania just they are too small to be seen and the number of skilled workers coming out of those gates are too small to be considered. Yes, I was going to say, the thing is, it's little bits of improvement, but we're talking about on a massive scale, aren't we, that's going to be needed to really push things forward and see a massive change. Perhaps we need to look at the Pin Breed and Nurse program. Yeah. And I suppose the thing is, is there an argument for this is not just in Romania, but an argument for people being more pressured into pursuing certain opportunities because there is a need to do so, or taking the unemployed and making them learn certain skills and other things like that, but that's it will just become where there isn't any engineers that specialize in traditional arts and skills. So the wages will increase, the benefits will increase, the wages will increase until such times as people go, I want to do that. I don't mind getting dirty. If I'm getting £150,000 a year, that's where it's going to go. Yeah. Money is going to drive things forward. They'll always be an abundance of people wanting to sit in a nice warm offices and all that, but the physical, hard, difficult jobs that are out there saying engineering, they're not attractive enough and they don't pay anywhere near enough. And that's where the change is going to come. It will have to. Otherwise companies are going to close down and I don't see that happening, no matter what. Yeah. Okay, well, I think we've had a pretty good discussion today. So thank you to everyone listening out there. Thank you to all of you for taking the time to speak today. So, from myself, Francesca, that's goodbye. Goodbye from Chris, from Pete, I'd just like to remind all the listeners to whatever platform you're listening on to hit the like button, share and subscribe to our channel. Thank you very much. Bye bye. And from that, just don't forget, create your profile, whether you still have time on Very good. I'm loving the plug in there. And if you are following on certain other channels, please follow subscribe, recommend the pod share, get the word out there. Take care everyone, and stay safe.