Robots step in to help plug worker shortages in Europe
Like many companies in central Europe, Amica has been struggling to find workers. So in 2018, the Polish manufacturer of household appliances took an unorthodox decision: to help staff up a new factory near Wronki in western Poland, it struck a deal with a local prison to employ between 100 and 200 inmates.
The arrangement is part of a government plan set up in 2016 to help rehabilitate prisoners. But it is also a sign of the strains being felt by central European companies as booming order books and the legacy of a wave of emigration in the 2000s drive unemployment to record lows, and labour shortages begin to bite.