Germany outlines measures to relax immigration laws for Blue Card holders, students, and skilled workers.
According to recent research from the Institute of German Economy, firms in Germany were unable to fill almost 630,000 job openings in their industries last year as a result of the country’s comparatively slow economic recovery.
The analysis discovered a significant positive association between the level of expertise necessary for a job and the challenge of hiring.
Why Germany is struggling to find skilled workers
A major issue with finding skilled workers is that Germany has seen a significant drop in the number of young people choosing apprenticeships or other vocational training.
Experts believe that this is due in part to the lack of training and networking opportunities during the pandemic. This is likely to have exacerbated Germany’s long-standing lack of interest in apprenticeships.
However, according to figures released earlier this week by the Federal Statistics Office, there are now currently approximately 1.25 million apprentices in Germany.
The number of people entering training courses has increased slightly following the pandemic, although it is eight percent down compared to pre-pandemic levels.
At the moment, employers are particularly looking for individuals with degrees in IT, electrical engineering, and construction planning and supervision, as there is a shortage of qualified workers in nine out of ten of these positions.
These sectors were not the only sectors affected by these issues. In 2022, the shortage of skilled workers in Germany also had a significant impact on health, social services, education, and teaching.
In industries that were previously less impacted by Germany’s labor shortages, there is now growing skill gaps, as the number of open positions nearly tripled in the commercial services, trade, distribution, hotel, and tourism industries last year.
The head of the Federal Employment Agency indicated,
“Even if we raise all domestic potential, this will not be possible without further immigration, also for demographic reasons….We need immigration of both labor and skilled workers.”
What this means for Nigerians
Germany fortunately believes that it won’t be able to solve its skilled worker shortage without a significant uptick in immigration.
For instance, in March, a record 45.6 million people were employed nationwide and the increase in employment figures was almost exclusively due to migrants, particularly non-EU migrants, entering the German workforce.
To further strengthen its skilled worker immigration, the Interior Ministry set out plans for looser immigration rules for skilled workers, more attractive conditions for students and Blue Card holders, and a new points-based system for potential job seekers.
This could come into force by summer giving more job seekers from Nigeria the opportunity to get a job in Germany. As the plans are being put in place, this is a good time for Nigerians to learn the German language ahead of plans to migrate.
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