Corporations are demanding a return to the welcoming culture
WHow do you deal with immigration? Politicians keep fighting over this question. And the economy regularly calls for simpler immigration rules and emphasizes how urgently foreign workers and skilled workers are needed. The names of the association representatives and politicians are more likely to change than the content of the statements.
Since the shortage of workers is becoming more and more noticeable in everyday life and the end of the corona restrictions makes entry possible again, as does the debate about it, the discussion is picking up speed again. At the end of November, the federal government had laid down the cornerstones of a new immigration law for skilled workers and will in future be using a points system. Those who meet the requirements should receive a chance card, regardless of whether they already have prospects of a job. A concrete draft law is to follow in the first quarter of next year.
So far, the victims of the shortage of skilled workers have been the companies, which sometimes find it difficult to fill their vacancies. So what do the corporations think of the government’s planned measures? The answers to a survey by the FAZ among the Dax companies show that they are as united as they are rarely: They consider the measures to be correct and the previous system far too bureaucratic.
Are hundreds of thousands missing – or millions?
While the political debate is more about the possibility of too many people immigrating, corporations are concerned that there might not be enough. They repeatedly emphasize that Germany is in international competition for workers and point out that the shortage is likely to worsen significantly in view of demographic developments. Germany needs 400,000 additional workers every year, quotes the Deutsche Telekom Figures from the Federal Employment Agency to fill the gap left by the baby boomers when they retire. Siemens Healthineers warns even more drastically: “In 2030, around 18 million employees will be missing from the healthcare system,” predicts the medical technology group.
“Definitely yes,” answers Deutsche Post, for example, when asked whether politicians should make it easier for foreign workers to immigrate to Germany. “The current plans of the federal government are going in the right direction.” It is particularly positive that “the federal government has recognized the importance of the topic”, almost as if politics had simply been difficult to understand up until now.
“Workers and companies willing to immigrate must not be deterred by a jungle of labor market law, immigration law and recognition law processes.” The procedures for recognizing qualifications and issuing visas must be simplified and interlinked. “Visas should generally not be issued by lottery.” The required skills and abilities should be decisive for access to the German labor market. “The Federal Government has taken up many of these points in its key issues paper on labor migration from third countries, which we very much welcome.”
Away with bureaucratic hurdles!
The former state-owned company does not shy away from terms that have long been highly charged in the political debate. Germany should “establish a culture of welcome even more,” says Post. “We need a welcoming culture,” writes consumer goods giant Henkel, praising the fact that bureaucratic hurdles should be removed and recognition procedures should be simpler and more practical.
In any case, there are sometimes surprising overlaps in the public debate on the subject of immigration. In its answers, the Vonovia housing group is almost reminiscent of some activists who would like to expropriate it: “The opportunity to prove oneself on the German labor market, even if not all the papers are complete at first or the completion of an apprenticeship cannot be proven, is good.” In general, the Bochum-based Dax group would “very much welcome it if the bureaucratic hurdles were lowered”.