Croatia to Provide Language Courses for Foreign Workers to Aid Integration

Croatia to Provide Language Courses for Foreign Workers to Aid Integration

The Croatian government has announced a program to support and organize Croatian language classes for foreign workers in important industries.

The objective is to help immigrants smoothly adapt to their new surroundings and become productive members of the local workforce and communities.

Removing language barriers through new funding and framework

A new framework drafted by the Ministry of Labour calls for the rollout of short Croatian language programs for foreign workers in the following industries:

  • Construction

  • Architecture

  • Tourism

  • Hospitality

  • Trade

  • Services

  • Processing

  • Food production

The courses will be added to the voucher education system for both employed and unemployed individuals as part of the National Operation Programme for Human Resources.

Career guidance services and regional Career Information and Counseling Centres (CISOK) will offer support to participants when the initiative starts in the first quarter of 2024.

Croatia currently has 17 active CISOK centers focused on improving lifelong career development skills.

Employers and local communities currently funding courses

The European Commission’s statement highlights that more and more employers and entrepreneurs are choosing to offer language learning opportunities for immigrant workers.

These courses are offered in different formats: in-person, online, or a combination of both, depending on what the company prefers.

Currently, the main source of funding comes from employers, with additional support from certain local communities.

For example, the city of Zagreb has set aside €150,000 for programs that teach Croatian to foreign workers.

Over 170,000 residence and work permits issued in 2023

Data from the Croatian Ministry of the Interior shows 172,499 residence and work permits were issued to foreign workers in various industries in 2023.

Following its accession to the European Union (EU), Croatia saw a significant increase in emigration. Many of its citizens relocated to countries like Germany, Austria, and Ireland in search of improved job opportunities.

This has led to a shortage of workers for certain jobs, especially in areas like tourism, restaurants, shops, building stuff, and skilled trades like carpentry or plumbing.

To solve this, companies in Croatia initially hired people from nearby Western Balkan countries.

Lately, they have started bringing in workers from much farther away, like India, Nepal, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Egypt.

EU policy aligns with support for immigrant workers

Croatia’s approach to supporting its immigrant workforce aligns with the EU’s changing immigration policies.

The training courses and guidance services will help workers become more integrated socially and economically. This supports the EU’s focus on legal migration channels that benefit both the countries hosting migrants and the newcomers themselves.

As the EU Commission works on creating immigration policies, countries within the EU, such as Croatia, are also making efforts to embrace immigrant communities on their own. 

The outcome is a collection of efforts aimed at making immigration and blending into society easier throughout Europe.

Integration journey set to improve

With recent government support and a well-organized system, immigrant workers in Croatia can expect better access to language training programs. These programs will help them integrate more smoothly into society.

The recent efforts represent a significant step forward in how our country handles the arrival and inclusion of workers from other countries.