New German government pinning economic future on migration
Germany says it will need migration to fill job vacancies crucial to maintaining the European economic powerhouse’s productivity.
The declaration from Germany’s new economics minister Robert Habeck comes as a new study shows in some sectors of industry, migrants constitute one in four employees.
Deputy Chancellor Habeck recently unveiled his new government’s policies aimed at recovery from the COVID-19 driven economic downturn.
He said that Germany at the moment has 390,000 job vacancies, which is expected to increase up to and even beyond a million.
“When we don’t fill these vacancies, then we will have some really serious productivity problems,” Mr Habeck said.
He said that not having enough trained personnel was becoming a problem in many parts of the German economy, from tourism, industry, building and services.
Mr Habeck said a variety of different measures are needed, including better training and the offer of a better work-life balance in some industries, where people are more able to combine their work with their family situation.
“But what is definitely needed is a rise in migration, and that is for every branch, from engineers, to craftspeople, to carers and health personnel,” he said.
Germany, like many other countries in Europe, has an aging population.
The German Institute for Economic Research has estimated that in 2022, more than 300,000 will leave their jobs and retire, and that there are not enough young people are available to take their places.
The institute’s report says that by 2029, the numbers leaving the job market could be as many as 650,000 which means that with the accumulated departures each year with no one to fill their shoes, by 2030, Germany could have a deficit of about five million people who are able to work.
The German government is considering a faster track to work for those who have been granted asylum status. It is also looking at reforming its legal migration routes and offering a points based system to attract the skilled workers the economy needs.
The economic institute’s report also found that many migrants are already working in the German economy, particularly in hospitality and logistics.
It found that Germany is already lacking about 12,000 goods drivers and about 4,200 people to work in hospitality.
“Without migration, these numbers would be even more dramatic,” the report said.
About 91,000 migrants work in restaurants and cafes, serving or preparing food, it said.
Across Germany, the numbers of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees applying for training programs in the most popular sectors is far higher than their German counterparts.