Germany wants to attract 400,000 skilled foreign workers

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The new coalition government in Germany has said it wants to attract 400,000 foreign skilled workers, to help the country both tackle a demographic imbalance and labour shortages. The belief is that the recovery of some industries post the pandemic is being hampered by the shortage of skilled workers.
Christian Duerr, Parliamentary Leader of the co-governing Free Democrats (FDP), told business magazine WirtschaftsWochel: “The shortage of skilled workers has become so serious by now that it is dramatically slowing down our economy.
“We can only get the problem of an ageing workforce under control with a modern immigration policy… We have to reach the mark of 400,000 skilled workers from abroad as quickly as possible.”
Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats, Duerr’s libertarian FDP and the environmentalist Greens agreed in their coalition to lift the minimum wage to 12 euros an hour and to implement a points system to enable talent to come to the country.
The employer-friendly German Economic Institute estimates that the labour force will shrink by more than 300,000 people this year as there are more older workers retiring than younger ones entering the labour market.
The organisation believes that this gap will widen to more than 650,000 in 2029, leaving an accumulated shortage of people of working age in 2030 of roughly five million. The number of Germans in employment grew to nearly 45 million last year despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Germany has enjoyed a low birth rate for decades however that has resulted in a shrinking workforce as it has pressure on the pension system, which is burdened with growing numbers of pensioners and fewer contributors relatively speaking. A longer life expectancy is also increasing the pressure on the system.
With labour shortages in many industries worldwide, the announcement in Germany that the country wants to attract skilled foreign workers comes as no surprise. Perhaps what is surprising is the number, which in a country that has already taken on many refugees, may not go down well with the general public.

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Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at