To attract the skilled foreign workers it considers essential to its economy, Germany wants to reduce bureaucratic obstacles to immigration, speed up naturalization times and facilitate multiple citizenship.
According to a project presented on September 7 by the German government, Berlin intends to increase the attractiveness of the country for foreign skilled workers. According to AFP, the shortage of labor would indeed constitute one of the main problems of the first European economy, to the point of threatening its growth potential in the years to come.
“For many companies, the search for qualified labor is already an existential question”, underlined the Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil during a seminar with trade unions and employers devoted to this question. According to the strategic document drawn up by the government with the aim of reversing the trend, Germany must appear as “an immigration country which is attractive in the international competition for qualified workers”.
“We must […] promote that Germany is a cosmopolitan country”
The framework conditions for immigration must be improved “so that foreign skilled workers and their families want to live and work in Germany”, explains the document.
“The federal government wants to allow multiple citizenship and facilitate naturalization. Naturalization will now be possible after only five years and three years in the event of special integration performance”, it is also written.
The coalition government of Social Democrat Olaf Scholz with the Greens and the Liberals intends to present legislative changes in the coming months. Among the simplifications to be considered, the employers suggested removing the obligation to check the language skills of foreign workers by “authorities, already overwhelmed in this respect”.
“We must be much more open to immigration and promote that Germany is a cosmopolitan country with interesting and high-quality jobs,” summarized Economy Minister Habeck.
Berlin also wants to attract more women to the job market by reforming the tax system and the supply of nurseries in a country lagging behind in the care of young children by educational structures.
Faced with an aging population, Germany notably lacks the workers needed to lead the digital and energy transition of its economy. According to the Employment Agency, around 887,000 jobs were waiting to be filled in August, up 108,000 from last year. According to the document presented on September 7, the government estimates a shortage of skilled workers at around 240,000 by 2026.
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