Tuesday, 19 February, 2019

Germany economy requires skilled immigrant workers: study

12 Feb 2019, 21:37 ( 6 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
File Photo VisitFinland.

The German economy requires at least 260,000 skilled immigrant workers per year by 2060 to counter the falling supply of labor caused by Germany's aging population, a study by Bertelsmann foundation showed on Tuesday.

   According to the study, an average of 114,000 skilled workers will migrate to Germany from other EU countries each year. Consequently, the additional 146,000 immigrant workers that are needed, will have to come from countries outside the European Union.

   "Migration is a central key to a successful future. Germany needs skilled workers, also from regions outside Europe", Joerg Draeger, member of the executive board of Bertelsmann foundation said.

   Even if men and women worked equal hours and the pension age in Germany was raised from 67 to 70 years, the demand for skilled labor could not be satisfied from Germany within, according to the study.

   "Today, far too few skilled workers from third countries emigrate to Germany," Draeger added. According to statistics from the Central Register of Foreigners (AZR), only 38,000 skilled workers from outside the EU migrated to Germany in 2017.

   An increasingly digitalized labor market did not require less labor, but more highly skilled workers, such as technicians and foremen, the study showed. More and more people would acquire higher qualifications while, conversely, a large number of people with education would withdraw from work in the coming years.

   Draeger demands that "the immigration law should be passed quickly." He appreciates the fact that the law is also addressed to people with average levels of qualification. Nevertheless, "a new law alone is not enough". Without an attractive integration offer, the shortage of skilled workers would not be compensated.

   The new law, finalized by the German government, enables qualified workers from non-European countries to seek a job and achieve permanent residence status in Germany.

   In November last year, a study by German Economic Institute (IW) warned that Germany was facing an unprecedented shortage of skilled workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-based (STEM) professions. German companies were unable to fill 337,900 STEM vacancies in October 2018. The figure marked the highest monthly shortage of skilled labor in these professions ever measured in the Eurozone's largest economy.