There is also work here for people from outside South Tyrol—and not only for the more than 20,000 seasonal workers who are needed each year in the hospitality and agriculture industries. With the most recent unemployment numbers coming in at 2.7%, locals cannot possibly meet the labour demand, even for permanent posts. This had made South Tyrol an especially popular destination for immigration: people from 130 different countries now live and work here.
South Tyrol’s demand for qualified and specialised personnel is larger than ever before. The relatively recent development of the province as a site for higher education and research is a major contributing factor. Teachers and researchers from all around the world are now working at the Free University of Bolzano and the European Academy (EURAC). Research is also taking place at the first Italian branch of the renowned Fraunhofer Institute, the Fraunhofer Innovation Engineering Centre, the Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg and the TIS Innovation Park; in the future, there will also be a twelve-hectare knowledge and technology park set up for research institutions and companies with a focus on green energy and technologies.
There are global players and niche suppliers—all of whom are in need of highly qualified personnel—in this key sector of South Tyrol, as there are in the Renewable Energy and in the Alpine technology sector. In many other sectors of South Tyrol’s many-faceted economy, in fact, there are many especially larger companies that cannot meet their demand for labour on the local market.