German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with top business and union officials in the country on December 16 to discuss how to attract skilled workers from outside of the European Union as Germany currently struggles to tackle the shortfall of qualified labour. The Legislation is due to come into function on March 1 making it easier for non-EU nationals to get a work visa and then seek jobs in Germany. Certain arrangements are currently applied only among the university graduates which are now being expanded to immigrants with professional qualifications and knowledge of German language.
The head of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry Eric Schweitzer said that many German companies are seeking skilled workers because their shortage poses a risk to the business. He also further called of 'unbureaucratic and effective implementation' of the new legislation. It is mainly the sectors including information technology and nursing that have complained about the need for more skilled workers.
Schweitzer said, “Many companies in Germany are urgently seeking skilled workers, even in times of a weaker economy. For more than half of companies, the shortage of skilled workers is currently the biggest risk to business.”
In the meetings scheduled for December 16, countries which shall be focussed on for German business will be discussed and according to Labor Minister Hubertus Heil, the government will try to 'cut out bureaucratic hurdles' such as the process of recognising professional qualifications, language ability and visa procedures. Currently, similar to other European markets, Germany is also trying to strike a balance between the needs of its labour market with the ageing population and immigration concerns.