The Wall Street Journal loudly criticizes German integration policy. There are major deficits, especially in continuing education. At the same time, the wages are too low and hostility towards migrants is clearly noticeable.
Devastating verdict on Berlin’s migration policy from the USA. The many migrants would not alleviate the acute shortage of skilled workers in the country one bit, writes the influential business newspaper “Wall Street Journal”. On the contrary, the immigrants would rather contribute to the increase in crime statistics and be a burden for the German state.
In contrast to the USA, Germany is apparently unable to find work for its many newcomers, according to a recent article in the conservative daily. This is all the more paradoxical as the most powerful economic nation in Europe will have seven million additional vacancies in the next eleven years. The newspaper refers to estimates by economists that around seven million Germans will retire by 2035.
Over the years, masses of foreigners have come to Germany: “every year comparable to the population of large metropolises,” according to the newspaper. “After years of record immigration, every sixth person in Germany was born abroad.” In the USA, the land of immigrants, this applies to every seventh person.
But the migrants could not meet the annual needs of 400,000 additional trained workers in Germany, it is said. According to statistics, only a third of the roughly 800,000 able-bodied Syrians and Afghans in Germany carry out a taxable activity.
In contrast to the USA, the unemployment rate among foreigners in Germany is twelve percent. This stands in stark contrast to the quasi-full employment among Germans.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the main problem is that many refugees are not sufficiently trained for the German labor market with its highly qualified jobs. And at the same time, the government is only extremely sluggishly promoting their further training. Language and integration courses also have long waiting lists.
It is true that Berlin is planning a points-based migration system based on the Australian and Canadian models for the coming year. The hope behind it is to attract more foreign skilled workers to the country.
But the newspaper is skeptical: Germany will undoubtedly continue to “see huge numbers of asylum seekers who cannot be recruited.” And these people would “also continue to fill the ranks of welfare recipients and increase crime statistics – where they are already disproportionately represented.”
After a drop in refugees during the pandemic, the numbers are now soaring again, it is explained. This is due to the Ukraine war and increasing migration from the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. In the first half of the year alone, over a million people came to Germany, the newspaper tells its readers – more than in 2015 at the height of the refugee crisis. The Americans also learned that half of all German companies would have to scale back their business or relocate abroad due to a lack of resources.
The report also cites Deutsche Bahn as an example: DB spokeswoman Kerstin Wagner says in the “Wall Street Journal” that they are currently recruiting in more than ten countries to fill the gaps caused by retiring employees. A quarter of all new employees come from abroad. 3,200 applicants from Ukraine were interviewed – but only a meager 65 were hired. And only 3.5 percent of the new Deutsche Bahn employees come from refugee countries like Syria or the Ukraine.
The big obstacle: People would lack the necessary qualifications. Even after extensive training and language courses, many people who want to work still find it difficult to find a job in Germany.
American reader comments speak of “ticking time bombs”: According to this article, one can even understand the alarming increase in right-wing extremists, it says, among other things.
Other users, on the other hand, complain about the comparatively low wages in Germany: “As a software engineer in the USA, my income was significantly higher. Back home in Germany, I then earned 50 percent less and paid a lot more taxes at the same time. So I’m back to America again.”
Other social media users complain that Germans make it difficult for foreigners to settle in. In contrast to new arrivals in the USA, foreigners in Germany would have to keep hearing, even after many years and countless language courses: “You are not from here.”
At the end of November, the federal government introduced a law to regulate immigration. So she decided on the cornerstones of a law that would make it easier for skilled workers from abroad to come to Germany and work here. According to Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD), the parliamentary procedure could begin in January.
From the point of view of the head of the Federal Employment Agency, Andrea Nahles, foreign skilled workers must have an easier start in the job. With 1.14 million immigrants last year, Germany is the most popular country after the English-speaking countries, she said. However, 750,000 emigrated again. Regulations for family reunification are “very difficult”. Other skilled workers left Germany because their qualifications had not been recognized for too long. “But the immigrants have to find a new home with us,” emphasized Nahles.
A planned law for easier immigration of skilled workers is to be welcomed; but challenges remained. There is a need for simplifications for the language test, the allocation of visa appointments at the consulate, the recognition of professional qualifications and support from the local immigration authorities. “There are many hurdles in the system that we have to clear to ensure better integration,” said Nahles; otherwise gaps in the labor market could not be closed.
According to the Institute for Labor Market and Occupational Research, there will be a shortage of around seven million skilled workers by 2035. It is therefore urgently necessary from an economic point of view to recruit specialists from abroad, Heil emphasized at the time. Otherwise security and prosperity are not guaranteed.