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Germany Downs Immigration Wall For Non-EU Skilled Workers

18 Apr 2013


Immigration News

Germany is easing up on its fortress-like approach to immigration as it attempts to make it easier for skilled workers from outside the European Union to take a job in the country.

In about two months time, a set of new immigration rules are likely to come into effect that should make it simpler for Indians, along with skilled labour from other non-EU countries such as China and Russia, to get into the German workforce as the country tries to establish a more comprehensive skilled migration program for non-European citizens, primarily to counter its low birth rates and declining working population. The move, being seen as an attempt to tide over growing shortages in areas such as engineering, plumbing, and public service jobs, comes at a time when Germany has begun to openly embrace the idea of a "demographic complementarity" with countries such as India. This is proving to be a new dimension to the relationship between the two countries — a key reason driving Germany's efforts to push through the German language in schools across India.

"With the new immigration rules, we are substantially changing some of the old regulations and opening the door for the skilled labour that can help our country progress," labour minister Ursula von der Leyen told a group of Indian journalists in Berlin. "It's a win-win situation for both countries (Germany and India)." Earlier this year, in February, Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet passed new immigration regulations which, once approved by the German Parliament, attempts to cut bureaucratic hurdles for people in target industries, allowing them to get their qualifications recognised in Germany more easily. Indications are that the proposal is likely to go through by July this year.

"Innovation has been Germany's main strength, and not mass production. In order to continue being a leader in technology, we need skilled labour. While our population is ageing, we have a low birth rate. Currently, of the total population of 80 million in Germany, 41 million are employed. Over the next 15 years, we could lose about 6 million workers just for demographic reasons," von der Leyen said.

Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Germany-downs-immigration-wall-for-non-EU-skilled-workers/1104069/


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