Everyone agrees on the goal: Germany needs more workers from abroad. Whether in gastronomy, in construction or in clinics, there is a shortage of staff everywhere – and the Germans alone will not be able to close this gap. The federal government therefore wants to invite foreigners with an opportunity card to look for a job in Germany. Preference should be given to those who do well in a point system for training, language and experience, announced Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) recently. But now the Advisory Council for Integration and Migration (SVR) warns in a report: It will not work as planned.
The problem lies in a small wording in the coalition agreement: “To look for a job”, workers should therefore have controlled access to the German labour market receive. However, skilled workers who speak German and can finance their living in advance are already allowed to enter Germany to look for a job. A corresponding residence permit for job seekers has been included in Section 20 of the Residence Act since 2012.
He is hardly used. why? The carpenter from India or the programmer from Belarus might as well come on a tourist visa to do a few job interviews. “A point system is not worthwhile solely for the job search area,” said SVR chairwoman Petra Bendel on the occasion of the publication of the report this Thursday. “So more people must be able to benefit from it than is currently the case.”
If more people are to come, you have to involve more
In concrete terms, the Council proposes using the points system not only for looking for work, but also for the immigration of workers in general. At the same time, the federal government should draw the circle of possible applicants wider than before. Because one thing is clear: the German job market has long been open to highly qualified foreigners. Since 2020, people who can demonstrate a qualification comparable to German training have also been able to immigrate. If more people are to come, one might have to invite those who have a lot of work experience but no formal qualifications, according to the council. The painter from Egypt or the baker from Syria, for example, who knows his work but cannot produce a certificate.
In addition to professional experience, other things could also count in a points system: language skills or special ties to Germany, for example, a concrete job offer, an agreed or expected minimum salary. According to the statement, preference could also be given to those who are aiming for a job in a shortage occupation. Minister of Labor Heil had already announced that other than formal training certificates should play a role in the future, although this was still limited to temporary entries to look for a job.
Immigrate without a formal degree? So far, only people from the Western Balkans are allowed. A special rule applies to them: anyone who can submit a job offer may come. This loophole in the German labor market is considered successful, but it also harbors risks. Those who do not have recognized training generally find it more difficult to advance in the job, do not change employers as easily, and are therefore more dependent. The Advisory Council also draws attention to these risks.