Last Updated on August 4, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Title: Central European Arms Manufacturers Adapt Strategies Amidst Labor Shortage
In response to the surging demand for weapons triggered by the Ukraine war, Central Europe’s arms manufacturers are faced with a growing labor shortage. A labor crunch is forcing these companies to implement innovative strategies to attract and train qualified workers. Czech Republic and Poland, the major suppliers of arms to Ukraine, are grappling with extremely low unemployment rates, leaving the arms industry struggling to secure the necessary workforce.
Notably, the Defence and Security Industry Association (DSIA) estimates that Czech companies alone can amplify production by as much as 20% with sufficient labor and materials. The urgency to recruit younger workers equipped with technical skills is rising as the industry relies heavily on innovation.
To combat the labor shortage, Czech ammunition and artillery shell producer, STV Group, is taking proactive measures. It is constructing apartments for new hires and offering retired workers complimentary canteen meals to share their expertise. Likewise, Explosia, a Czech explosive maker, is expanding its collaboration with local universities and increasing automation to counter the lack of skilled labor.
Across the border in Poland, WB Group, a prominent military technology firm, is actively recruiting women to work on assembly lines. This move aims to both address the gender gap in the industry and accommodate the increased orders. Simultaneously, WB Group is reconfiguring their production system to support the heightened demand.
Both the Czech Republic and Poland have already sent much-needed military supplies worth $1.84 billion to Ukraine over the past year. Nevertheless, the insufficient supply of skilled workers is constraining the expansion of arms production in the region.
To address this pressing need, the state-owned PGZ in Poland is resorting to social media advertising to target employees across various industries. Additionally, PGZ plans to launch a campaign to convince Poles currently employed in Scandinavian shipyards to return home.
With the geopolitical situation propelling a surge in demand for arms, Central Europe’s arms manufacturers find themselves in an increasingly competitive race to secure skilled workers. These companies are stepping up efforts to recruit talent, expand collaborations with educational institutions, and automate processes. Only through these strategic maneuvers can Central Europe’s arms industry meet the escalating demand and ensure their sustained growth in an evolving global landscape.