Germany – Skilled Worker Shortage

Germany‘s economy has rapidly discovered from the recent crisis, but there is still a lack of skilled workers. Therefore, the government is looking to attract unemployed people from Southern or Eastern Europe.
The German Institute for Economic Research has recently forecast that the German workers might face a 45 hour working week if the situation of non-qualified workers does not improve in the near future. Other authorities from the Board see the only chance to improve the current job situation with the help of increasing the immigration in Germany. Politicians share the argue that especially young people should move towards the country from non-financial healthy European countries such Portugal or Spain. Indeed, both countries experiencing a quite high unemployment rate. Looking at its situation of February 2012: Portugal has an unemployment rate of 15% and Spain has even over 23% joblessness, which is the highest numbers amongst the most countries in Europe or even worldwide.

However, to help out Germany, neighbor countries from like the Czech Republic, Poland or Hungary were also applicable candidates who had the movement rights for a legal working life in Germany. Hence, there are many unemployed young people in Southern and Eastern Europe who are looking desperately for jobs. Politicians dispute that it is better to draw on labor resources from within Europe instead of changing the entire immigration laws for non-Europeans from other parts of the world. The new effort to attract highly qualified workers from Southern and Eastern Europe comes on an actual business plan, which was announced by Germany’s Federal Employment Agency, which is aiming for an improvement of the skilled labor shortage. The plan is primarily focused on integrating more women into the German workforce, with estimates suggesting that such measures could fill up to three million jobs alone by 2025. The Federal Employment Agency is positive about the fact that bringing in workers from abroad is a necessary component of any long term solution and the problem cannot be solved without immigration. Moreover, they estimate around 800 000 skilled workers who could be potentially attracted to work in Germany.

Nevertheless, the opinions in the German government are widespread and some demand a halt of immigration in terms of letting to many foreign cultures into country. Immigrants from totally different cultures like Turkey or Arabic have more difficulties than neighbor countries regarding the integration. In the end it all depends on the people, the society, the government and the availability of jobs in order to improve the situation of more qualified workers within Germany.

Source:, unemployment rate & Spiegel Online International


3 thoughts on “Germany – Skilled Worker Shortage

  1. At the moment Germany has a high rate of unemployment. In March 2012 the unemployment rate of Germany amounts 7.2% and as the German magazine zeit online says, there are still qualified people who do not have a job and try to find one abroad. In my opinion it is important to search first of all in Germany for qualified workers. And there are still qualified people who plan to go abroad because they do not find a job in Germany. In 2009, 155000 Germans left Germany to labour in a foreign country. Not until these people are provided with jobs, the companies should search for employees abroad. If the companies really need qualified personnel they should court them. In some few instances it does not seem like this. For example the company Siemens cancelled 2000 jobs.

    However, I also think that it is important to increase the number of workers especially in such companies where people have many overtime hours. In 2010 the Germans made around 1248 million overtime hours. For the enterprises it is cheaper to temper a missing employee with overtime hours. But too many working hours are unhealthy and can lead to a longer absence. In addition it reduces the working quality.

  2. In my opinion Unemployment rate in Germany is still decreasing and now on a level which still not good but a lot better like for example in 2005 with more than 13%. A reason for the skilled worker shortage is the fact that pupils after school and even students are not interested in specific sectors where this shortage occurs. Especially in the chemical and biology sector many qualified employees are missing. Therefore it is hard to search qualified workers if there are not any.


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