Since the Czech Republic is a relatively new member of the EU, many opportunities for international companies have recently arisen. The position of the Czech Republic, right in the centre of Europe, also boosts its attractiveness for many companies. Banking and management consultancy firms, especially, are choosing to base their European headquarters in Prague.
A strong growth in the electrical engineering sector, the automotive industry and in tourism can be witnessed around all the big cities in the country. Further, due to EU deregulation laws, IT and telecommunication services are booming, creating high demand for employees in these sectors.
The situation in rural areas, however, is different. Despite the development of tourism, which is vitally important in more remote areas, there is a constant lack of jobs. Jobs related to agricultural, leather working and the textile industry are particularly in decline.
Job chances for expatriates in the Czech Republic
Being able to speak Czech is very important for finding a job in the Czech Republic. Although there are sectors that require you to speak other languages as well (most often English) your chances of getting a job significantly improve if you speak Czech. In addition, many Czechs learn English, and to some extent also German, at school. You might not, therefore, necessarily have a natural language advantage in the Czech Republic.
Teaching English, however, is a good opportunity for expatriates to work in the Czech Republic. Especially in Prague, where there are many language schools that hire teachers annually for the new school year. April is a good time to apply for a teaching position. The new school year starts in September. Even if you do not have qualifications or experience teaching English you may still try to apply since the demand for teachers is very high.
If you do not speak any Czech at all, the tourism industry is a good starting point for finding work in the Czech Republic. With more and more international visitors coming into the country every year, the need for multilingual, or at least English speaking, personnel has increased.
Up to 2007 there has been a steady growth in the Czech automotive industry. Many positions concerning specialised manual labour could not be filled. Therefore, great chances in this sector were available. The current worldwide problems in the automotive industry have, to some degree, slowed down this development. Nevertheless, well-paid jobs are still offered in this sector.
Problems faced by expatriates
Every Czech employer who wants to hire a foreigner has to prove that the position could not be filled by a Czech citizen. This process can be very hard and time-consuming. Many employers, especially in smaller companies, therefore avoid looking for foreigners in the first place. This is a great obstacle for expatriates.
Companies with a registered seat outside the Czech Republic are not affected by this regulation, even though a job offered by a non-Czech company might be exactly the same as a job offered by Czech company. It is therefore a lot easier for foreigners to get a job at an international company.