Over one million people moved to Germany for work in the year 2012: the largest ever skilled-worker immigration within a year witnessed by the country. Many of these were EU citizens hit by economic crisis back home in Spain, Greece, Ireland or Portugal.
IAB, German Institute for Employment research stated that Germany would face a decline in their work force by 6.5 million people by 2025. Germany’s ministry of economics announced an initiative for easier skilled-workers immigration process four years ago, however the discussion is also revolving around the issue of quotas for non-EU skilled-worker immigration in Germany.
There are different points of view among different political parties. Some of them are in favor of rapid skilled-worker immigration and some emphasize the fact that companies should invest more in training German workers and bringing them up to speed rather than relying on immigration.
BMW welcomed a legal facilitating of immigration of skilled workers because it has been facing bureaucratic hurdles while recruiting international talent to work in Germany.
Back in 2010, BMW announced it would recruit experienced skilled workers from international talent pool to work at German locations to meet the needs of their highly qualified employees.
European Aerospace and defense corporation EADS also emphasized the point that Europe is lacking 3000 specialized engineers per year. According to them this gap should be filled and it should not be made a political issue, however the regulations for skilled immigrants should be made after a complete assessment of their qualifications and previous work experience.
The demand for engineers is expected to increase due to the launch of many aerospace projects by the European Union and by private entities. Only alone in the year 2010, Airbus had planned to hire 1500 additional engineers.
However, the general consensus in the political class is to make Germany”s immigration laws for skilled workers less stringent.
OPENING OF GERMAN LABOR MARKET FOR EAST EUROPEANS NOT ENOUGH
It was a positive step when German labor market was opened for East European citizens in 2011 but it was not enough as the professionals from these countries have long been settled in U.K, France and elsewhere.
Siemens, Germany’s largest industrial group also indicated that for the shortages in their specific areas they are willing to go abroad for requirements. As of 2010, Siemens was looking out for 2000 vacancies to get filled.
In our next post we’ll describe how the skilled-worker immigration reform has led to a new immigration document called the “Blue Card” which confers the rights of a permanent resident on the skilled-workers living in Germany.