Federal ministers launch new skilled labour strategy
Federal Government wants to establish a new culture of further training and promote immigration of skilled workers.
Federal ministers Hubertus Heil, Franziska Giffey, Anja Karliczek, Peter Altmaier and Horst Seehofer met in Berlin today to present a skilled labour strategy and discuss it with top representatives of the social partners, federal states, chambers of trades, craft and industry and the Federal Employment Agency. The shortage of skilled workers is an enormous challenge for German industry. As Germany’s labour resources will not suffice to meet the need for skilled labour, the strategy also addresses skilled workers in European and third countries.
The website www.make-it-in-germany.com, which was first launched in 2012, has now been turned into the Federal Government’s main source of information for foreign skilled workers, bundling all the key information about making a career and living in Germany. This means that the Federal Government has already taken another important step towards securing the supply of skilled labour.
Speaking about the new strategy, Minister Seehofer said:
"The German economy urgently needs skilled workers. To secure the supply of labour, we primarily intend to tap national and European reserves. We are also open to skilled workers from third countries and are creating a good and clear legal framework for them to work here. The new legislation allowing immigration by skilled workers is intended to target university graduates and skilled workers with quality vocational training.
As regards the immigration of skilled labour, I find it important not to blur the line between asylum and migration for work purposes, and to verify candidates’ qualifications before they enter the country. Our aim is to compete successfully for the brightest minds."
The skilled labour strategy has three pillars: the domestic, European and international skilled workers and employment reserves. The most important fields of action and measures for each pillar have been defined. The implementation of the skilled labour strategy focuses on the domestic labour reserves.
Alongside coordinated measures designed to train workers and to improve the quality of work and the compatibility of work and family life, the qualification and further training of those currently gainfully employed is a priority. The skilled labour strategy is intended to establish a new culture of further training in Germany, building on the broad range of further training offers by employers and the motivation of employees.
Specifically, those in work need help to keep up their qualifications and skills and adapt them to a changing work environment, making sure that the labour market of the digital future has the skilled workers needed to maintain Germany’s attractiveness as a place to do business in the interest of employees and employers alike.
However, the German economy will continue to rely on the immigration of skilled workers.
Those from European countries who have come to Germany under the free movement of workers are already making an important contribution to the competitiveness of the German economy, notably mitigating the shortage of skilled labour.
The ministers involved intend to take various measures to make sure that Germany remains attractive to skilled workers from other European countries and their families. Turning www.make-it-in-germany.com into the Federal Government’s key information portal for foreign skilled workers is an important step in this direction.
The bill allowing immigration by skilled workers from third countries, which is in the final legislative stage, will also help alleviate the shortage of skilled workers in a targeted manner, making sure that the German economy can continue to grow. The focus will be on recruiting skilled workers with quality vocational training.