According to Handwerk.NRW, an industry association, around 40 percent of all craft enterprises in NRW were unable to fill vacancies in the past six months/Photo: AfricanCourierMedia

German state wants to simplify immigration of skilled workers

There is enough work, but often there is a lack of skilled workers. That is the situation across Germany. The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia, governed by a CDU-Green coalition, has therefore launched a “skilled labour offensive”, as already agreed in their coalition agreement.

To combat the shortage of skilled workers, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), one of Germany’s 16 federal states, wants to simplify the immigration of foreign skilled workers.

“It is important to get the people who come to us, but also those who are already here, into work as quickly as possible and to enable them to participate well in our society,” the state government announced in Düsseldorf on the occasion of an event on the shortage of skilled workers.

To this end, work will continue on making the procedures for the immigration of skilled workers and the recognition of their qualifications faster and less bureaucratic, the NRW government said. The efforts of the business community to successfully integrate skilled workers into the labour market will also be supported.

In addition, concrete projects for recruitment from third countries (non-EU countries) are already planned. “Ultimately, everyone is called upon to promote and live a welcoming culture, starting with the German missions abroad in third countries and extending through the foreigners authorities in the municipalities to an appreciative corporate culture,” the statement continued.

The state government’s measures against the shortage of skilled labour, summarised under the term “skilled labour offensive”, were the topic of a congress in Düsseldorf on Thursday. “The lack of skilled workers is one of the greatest challenges of our time,” explained Minister President Hendrik Wüst, a member of the CDU. “We need good, competent and motivated people for climate protection, in education, care, for digitalisation or the renewal of our infrastructure.”

The skilled labour shortage is lamented by the skilled trades, for example. According to Handwerk. NRW, which represents the overall interests of the skilled crafts sector in North Rhine-Westphalia, around 40 percent of all craft enterprises in the state were unable to fill vacancies in the past six months.

Sola Jolaoso

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