Bosnia’s haulage industry concerned about loss of its driver workforce to EU nations

Bosnia’s haulage industry concerned about loss of its driver workforce to EU nations — 2023-05-31

Land transportation

The alarm was sounded by Nikola Grbić from the Association for internal and international transport for Republika Srpska, who spoke to Bosnian media outlet BHRT.

He says that the introduction of unique digital driver’s licenses for all EU Member States will make it much easier for licenses to be switched to that of a different country.

A case in point is Germany, where licences from Bosnia and Herzegovina will soon be accepted.

Unfortunately, I am not an optimist, and if this trend continues, and we see it continuing, in a very short time we will be without professional drivers or drivers of passenger transport. This will lead to a really difficult difficult situation, and it is difficult as it is,” Grbić told BHRT.

Safudin Čengić, who represents the transport sector in the Chamber of Commerce of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, added that the salaries in countries like Germany are vastly superior to what is on offer in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He believes the way to alleviate the issue is to reduce the social security contributions made by drivers and thus improve their take home pay in this way.

It is the only way to stop the flow of people moving abroad, as it would enable people to live normally. I am sure that 95 percent of them are more interested in being with their families and living in their own city than going abroad,” said Safudin.

Safudin added that political instability is another issue:

The unstable political situation in BiH, even for people who have resolved their status in terms of both housing and income, leave simply because of an environment that is unstable. Even when they are in a good situation, they leave. This means an increase in wages. If there is stabilization of the political situation, it would either completely stop or at least significantly slow down that negative trend.

Naturally, if more drivers from Bosnia and Herzegovina were to emigrate, it means the country will require drivers from other countries. The BHRT report thus states it is almost inevitable that the country will need to provide more work permits to industry to enable the recruitment of staff from abroad.