Germany needs specialists from abroad – it’s good that the government is finally doing something. However, workers in their own country should not be neglected.
Does anyone remember Jürgen Rüttgers? The CDU politician was once Prime Minister in North Rhine-Westphalia and caused a stir with the saying “Children instead of Indians”. That was almost twenty years ago and how much the times have changed can be seen from the fact that Angela Merkel appointed top representatives from politics and business to the Chancellery last night for the expert summit. Result: Germany should become more attractive for skilled workers from abroad.
That is also urgently needed. Because what is clear: the birth rate may have risen slightly, but the aging of society is progressing. Germany will be dependent on foreign specialists if prosperity is to be ensured despite the demographic change. After all, who should develop machines, build houses and care for the sick when the old can no longer do it and there are not enough young?
In a survey by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) before the top meeting, 56 percent of the companies indicated that the lack of skilled workers was the greatest business risk. It is therefore right that it should now be examined how employees with the required qualifications can be targeted abroad. The legal basis for this was already created in the summer with the skilled workers immigration law. It will come into force next March and will facilitate the influx of foreign workers with the appropriate qualifications.
A training offensive is also necessary
However, as always in politics, this measure is not without controversy. It is argued that foreign skilled workers compete with local workers and that the borders should be opened for unhindered immigration. Such fears have contributed to Germany not tackling the problem for years.
So that the regulation is now accepted, two cliffs have to be circumnavigated. First, the skilled workers offensive must not lead to workers being neglected in their own country. It must go hand in hand with a training offensive and, in some sectors, with a wage offensive. The impression must not arise that companies are recruiting workers abroad because they do not pay their people properly at home. Otherwise, the Immigration Act will become an Employee Displacement Act.
Secondly, it is essential to strictly separate the immigration of skilled workers from the immigration of refugees. The admission of specialists serves to safeguard national interests. People are brought into the country because the country needs them. Accordingly, the admission criteria are strictly based on requirements. The admission of refugees, on the other hand, is a humanitarian act in which the economic performance of the refugees should not play a role. Refugees can – subject to appropriate educational offers and residence rules – become skilled workers who make their contribution to value creation in Germany. But the motivation is different – and it is important to keep the two migration paths apart, if only to avoid offering the populists unnecessary targets.
Source : ZEIT ONLINE