Asylum seekers in Germany find work in droves
More than 30,000 asylum seekers have now found jobs in Germany according to new data released by the nation’s labour agency that flies in the face of predictions that the influx of migrants would cripple Europe’s largest economy.
Critics of German chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy that has seen more than one million asylum seekers arrive since 2015 said the newcomers wouldn’t contribute to society by getting jobs.
By figures released this week by Germany’s federal labor agency Bundesagentur für Arbeit showed that 306,574 asylum seekers had found jobs as of May, a jump of more than 100,000 from the same month last year.
These new workers are mainly from conflict-torn countries such as Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Eritrea.
Around 28,000 of them had completed apprenticeships by May, the agency said.
Spokesman for the agency Detlef Scheele said younger people had been particularly successful finding work.
“We always said that those who have entered as children and adolescents have better prospects in the labor market,” he said in a statement.
“Everything is going well. These are positive numbers, particularly when you consider that we are talking about people who came here for humanitarian reasons, not necessarily to find work,” Mr Scheele said.
The agency said a key to the jobseekers success was learning German.
Mastering the famously difficult language is the gateway to getting a foothold in the job market and it is crucial for the government to continue to fund language classes for refugees, it said.
As of July, nearly half a million migrants were registered as “looking for work,” a number that also includes people currently completing language courses and integration programs.
German employers, desperate for skilled labor, see the young migrants, once trained, as boon for their businesses.
The labour agency has reported that there are 1.2 million unfilled vacancies in the country. The labor shortage is so dire that the government has proposed a scheme that would make it easier for skilled workers from non-EU countries to move to Germany to taken up jobs.
The figures on refugees finding jobs come after news earlier this month that a scandal in which it was alleged migrants were unlawfully granted asylum was exaggerated.
The number of refugees unlawfully granted asylum was much lower than thought: the interior ministry said that a review of 43,000 asylum claims found that 99 per cent of them were correctly granted.
AMES Australia Senior Journalist