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22,000 people in Brno are employed in Service and innovation centres; this represents nearly 1 in 10 of economically active citizens in the city. It also makes up 25% of the Czech business services market. These were the main findings of a survey presented at the annual conference of the Association of Business Service Leaders in the Czech Republic (ABSL). Photo: Markéta Vaňková at the 2019 ABSL conference. Credit: ABSL.

Brno, Nov 20 (BD) – Markéta Vaňková, Mayor of the City of Brno, which gave support to the conference and the survey said: “Brno is a Central European centre of science, development and innovation. It provides high-quality facilities for companies from many market segments, including IT companies and the development of advanced technologies such as electron microscopes.” She also pointed out that international companies found Brno an ideal base, which provides interesting career opportunities for university graduates.

Companies such as  Infosys and Deutsche Telekom have based  service and innovation centres in Brno. This sector employs 22,000 people  in Brno and next year is expected to grow by 10%, adding around 2000 jobs. These will include mainly qualified jobs in the areas of information technology, research and development, finance, logistics, and personnel services. Wages in the industry in many cases exceed the local average. According to the CZSO, in the second quarter of 2019 the average wage in the South Moravian Region was CZK 32,582. According to Grafton Recruitment, the new graduate starting salaries in IT and finance in Brno are between 30 and 40 thousand, and experienced workers will earn up to CZK 100,000 gross per month.

Although the unemployment rate in Brno is very low, currently standing at 3.8%, the ABSL is not afraid of a lack of staff; on the contrary: “The expected development […] in the coming period will be enabled not just by new graduates. Foreigners already account for nearly a third of all corporate service employees, and we expect their share to rise by half in the next two years,” says Jonathan Appleton, ABSL associate director.

Brno has a very good reputation in the eyes of foreigners. According to a survey carried out by the Brno Expat Center, 86% of expats living in Brno would recommend this city to other foreigners. This is mainly due to the high quality of life, which is also confirmed by the server Numbeo.com, which lists Brno among the top 30 cities in Europe; this ranks it higher than Prague. Brno is also ahead of other popular destinations in the corporate services industry, such as Dublin, Warsaw, Krakow, Bratislava and Budapest. The ranking is based on eight criteria: security, property price/income ratios, cost of living, purchasing power, climate, health care, pollution and commuting time.

For investors, Brno has many advantages.  They appreciate not only its central location, but also the more favourable rental prices and overall lower personnel costs than in the capital. Wages in Brno are on average 10 000 CZK lower than in Prague, where the average gross wage in the second quarter of 2019 was 42 297 CZK and rents are  about 35% lower than the capital. While in Prague companies most often pay monthly prime rents of 20 – 21 euros/ m2 per month, in Brno most office space is offered for 11-13.50 EUR/m2.

Infosys talking with potential candidates at Jobspin Multilingual Job Fair in Brno, career fair for expats, October 2019. Photo credit: CG / Jobspin.

Appleton highlights that “about 50 investors from our sector have already been convinced that Brno is a good choice. Well-known companies such as Atlas Copco, Infosys, Zebra Technologies, Deutsche Telekom and many others have their headquarters here. Although they may have come to Brno mainly because of the favourable costs, they remain and strengthen their investments for the quality they have found here. Over the past 3 years, they have grown by as much as 50%. ”

Zebra Technologies at Jobspin Multilingual Job Fair in Brno, October 2019. Photo credit: CG / Jobspin.

This is also confirmed by the companies themselves: “Our centre specializing in financial services and customer service has been based in Brno for 10 years. From al few dozen employees, it has grown to 450 today, of which 30% are foreigners, ”says Roman Pavloušek of Atlas Copco Services. He added that Brno was a great choice for their center, mainly due to the good quality of the infrastructure, the availability of a skilled workforce and its geographical proximity to Western Europe.  They are still planning to increase staff numbers in the future.

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