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Slovakian Zoltan Toth, 40, was working as a turner in the metalworking industry in Bratislava in the spring of 2007. He’d grown unhappy with his salary, and wanted to travel. EURES to the rescue – Zoltan was browsing the vacancy section of the website when he spotted a job at Guichon Valves, a metalwork company based in the south of France. Local EURES Adviser Eva Dankova along with other advisers throughout Slovakia, had been sent the job notice by the Chambre de Commerce Franco-Slovaque, one of the organisations EURES regularly collaborates with on relevant vacancies. “We had helped a Slovakian metalworker to find employment with Guichon Valves in the past, and it worked out so well that they were keen to take the same route again,” says Eva Dankova. Zoltan immediately sent in his CV, and was quickly snapped up.
Zoltan had spent two brief periods in Holland in his former job, but the move to France was his first time properly based abroad. Zoltan’s wife and small children are still in Slovakia: “We thought it was too disruptive to move the children at their age,” says Zoltan, “but who knows what will happen in the future. I’ll have worked at Guichon for a year this coming May, so it’s still early days – but I’m enjoying France a lot.”
Zoltan has been impressed by the level of assistance Guichon Valves provides to its foreign employees. Upon arriving, he was given hostel accommodation and was also set up with French lessons. When the company moved to Chambéry last year, he moved into a shared house with another Slovakian colleague. Guichon Valves also assists foreign employees with their housing lease and guarantee arrangements, provides them with bed linen, crockery and cooking facilities, and helps them set up their French bank accounts. Patrice Defrance, the company’s Finance and Administration Manager, even accompanied a Slovakian worker to the dentist to make sure that there were no language issues during the treatment.
From Guichon Valves’ point of view, the arrangement couldn’t have worked out better. “We often face difficulties recruiting French workers in the field of metal machinery,” says Patrice Defrance. “Slovakian mechanics and metalworkers have a very good reputation, so, taking into account the excellent relationship we have with the Chamber of Commerce in Chambéry, it was natural for us to turn to the for help finding workers in this field. We found both Eva Dankova, the Bratislavan EURES Adviser, and Maria