Home Global News Industry: Germany needs more skilled workers from abroad, and fast

Industry: Germany needs more skilled workers from abroad, and fast

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The German government’s plans to facilitate immigration procedures for skilled workers are a step in the right direction when it comes to battling the current shortage but still need some improvements, according to industry representatives.

A representative for the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) called for adjustments to be made in areas such as the salary threshold and the recruitment of trainees from abroad.

“The position paper still contains very little on this,” DIHK Deputy Managing Director Achim Dercks told the Rheinische Post newspaper in remarks to be published on Wednesday.

The German governing coalition is scheduled to adopt a key issues paper “on the immigration of skilled workers from third countries” on Wednesday. Among other things, it stipulates the introduction of a points-based system which would allow individuals to immigrate even if they don’t have a contract yet.

“With the growing number of unfilled apprenticeship places in Germany, we must become even more pragmatic in order to increasingly attract apprentices from third countries,” Dercks added.

Hans Peter Wollseifer, the president of an industry association that spans civil engineering to the car business, called for Germany’s immigration authorities to become “welcome centres,” and for the German embassies abroad to speed up the visa process, to facilitate immigration for skilled workers.

“Otherwise people won’t come, especially since Germany doesn’t have the best reputation as an immigration country anyway,” Wollseifer told the Rheinische Post.

It was important that the new regulations were practical and unbureaucratic, he said. “Small businesses don’t have large human resources departments that can spend a long time dealing with foreign authorities.”

There are currently significantly more vacancies in the skilled crafts sector than the official 153,000, as many companies no longer even report their vacancies out of resignation, Wollseifer said.

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