Civil service

One in five vacancies unfilled as state plans to hire more

Following the creation of 2,306 new jobs with the state last year, another 1,393 positions are to follow in 2023. Library photo: Nader Ghavami

Following the creation of 2,306 new jobs with the state last year, another 1,393 positions are to follow in 2023. Library photo: Nader Ghavami

Out of more than 2,300 new posts created within the Luxembourg civil service, 500 are still vacant as the state prepares to add another 1,393 positions this year.

The 2023 budget foresees 1,393 new members of staff in different civil service positions, with a focus on education, the police, the tax administration and digitalisation departments.

But around 500 posts created last year are still unfilled, a spokesperson for the ministry of the civil service said in an email. Of those 183 are currently advertised on the Govjobs.lu platform.

“For the state, as for all players on the labour market, it’s a big challenge to find specialised people, for example in IT but also in finance and a number of jobs that we have,” the spokesperson said. “Because of its missions, the state has a high number of different jobs that are often highly specialised, that exist with hardly any other employer, and where it’s not self-evident to find staff.”

In addition to the new positions created departing staff must be replaced. In total, the state published 3,000 job offers on Govjobs.lu last year. However, this includes some posts being posted several times and some adverts recruiting for more than one candidate. Jobs in primary and secondary education, however, are not included.

Language criteria

While several positions at the state are open for non-nationals, strict language criteria often mean that foreigners don’t meet the job requirements.

Generally, the civil service requires applicants to master Luxembourg’s three administrative languages--Luxembourgish, French and German--with some also including the requirement to speak English.

For a handful of jobs, language criteria are waved, as long as applicants speak one of the country’s official languages. A position for an IT applications developer currently advertised, for example, is looking for programming languages rather than linguistic skills. The head of communications for Luxembourg’s central bank meanwhile should be fluent in French and English, with Luxembourgish considered an advantage.

In 2020, members of parliament said they would analyse the possibility to revise the language criteria for specialised government services after the maritime administration presented plans to waive a requirement to speak German if candidates can show skills in English.

“There are currently no changes foreseen as far as language criteria are concerned,” the ministry spokesperson told Delano.

The civil service counted some 34,421 employees at the end of last year, up 4.8% from 32,832 at the end of 2021. This compares to a private labour market of around 430,000 jobs, roughly three-quarters of which are filled by non-nationals.