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Land transport

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NACE 2002 - 60 Land transport; transport via pipelines
NACE 2002 - 63 Supporting and auxiliary transport activities; activities of travel agencies

The transport industry is largely concentrated in Prague (nearly two thirds of employment), which is caused by the fact that Prague is a transport node and, also, by the fact that the largest transport companies logically choose the capital city as a location of their headquarters. There are several major trends in the industry that have different effects in rail and road transport. There is also expected to be a different development in passenger and freight transport. 

Land freight transport (particularly on roads) has grown in recent years as a result of growing industrial output, exports and retail consumption of Czech households. As for passenger transport, the market has been more or less stagnant (the number of persons transported has been about the same in rail transport and public transport in cities, a major decline in performance has only occurred in bus services).

As mentioned above, the growth in land transport has been caused by economic prosperity and the situation where industry in the CR accounted for the largest proportion of the economy as compared to all EU member countries. This fact and also a comparison with developed countries (e.g. in Germany land transport only accounts for 3.7% of total employment while in the CR it is 5.7%) suggest that the current 283 thousand people (2008) are the peak for this sector and the number will tend to decline in the following years. Since total employment and total population will tend to decrease in the CR by 2020, a fall in employment in land transport is the more likely.  The impact of the financial and economic crisis on the sector of land transport is severe. Still in the third quarter of 2008 the sector faced a robust shortage of labour. However, we should realise that the great demand for occupations in transport was caused by a large proportion of transport-intensive industrial output in GDP. The crisis  has chilled the overheated labour market in a major way. Demand for labour in transport will slightly fall in the following years. The reason is that the emphasis on industry within the Czech economy will weaken in favour of services. However, the Czech Republic will show a higher proportion of employment in transport and warehousing as compared to developed EU countries – thanks to its position as a transition country in the heart of Europe and the proportion of industry that will continue be higher than in other EU countries. 

Moreover, the qualification structure of the workforce in the sector should partially change in the upcoming years. The introduction of new transport control and monitoring technologies will allow for a decrease in employment at management and operational level, but the requirements for expertise will increase. There will be a growing demand for specialists in control, information, communication and dispatching systems. The development of new technologies (i.e. environmentally friendly approaches such as the use of alternative fuels, and logistic approaches such as the development of combined transport) will require a growing number of specialists and technicians.

Entrepreneurs in the sector will be influenced by so-called “insourcing” where transport companies will expand their scope of operations offered to customers in the area of transport and logistics (packaging, administration, customer services). This will require a growing number of workers with specific skills. Transport and logistics will become an industry with an extensive and variable range of activities and services.  

The land transport industry also includes the activities of travel agencies. The trends that will affect demand for occupations and skills in the case of travel agencies will be similar to those influencing the hotels and restaurants segment. The demands of customers will grow as they will increasingly seek tailor-made products and services the provision of which will have to be strongly individualised. The importance of the internet as an instrument for information and communication between customers and service providers will increase. As a result, there will be growing requirements for ICT skills as well as communication skills of operators and employees of travel agencies. Due to more demanding customers the importance of promotion, advertising and communication will also grow, which will be correspondingly reflected in the demand for occupations and qualifications. 

Along with rising standards of living and the interest in healthier lifestyles on the part of Czechs there is expected to be a further increase in interest in wellness jobs – masseurs, fitness trainers, etc. A change in the demographic structure and population ageing will also have an impact. The proportion of elderly customers in the tourism industry will increase, and service packages will therefore have to be customised and higher comfort levels offered in order to accomodate their condition, e.g. lower mobility.

Traditional tours offered in the catalogues of travel agencies will be facing a tougher competition from foreign travel agencies and supermarkets that will be entering this market segment. Increased quality of services wil be the main factor of competitiveness of travel agencies, and this will be clearly reflected in the demand for occupations and skills.  So-called “animators” will be among the highly demanded occupations in the following years. In Western Europe this term is used to describe tourism workers who design entertainment activities for participants of organised tours or guests in a given location or hotel. This does not include only trips and provision of information about the history, sights and points of interest in the given area. Animators are responsible for designing fun activities for various age groups – competitions, games, sports, social events, etc.

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