An African refugee taking part in an internship programme at Daimler for refugees and asylum-seekers in Stuttgart. The experts recommend that Germany should allow migrants from Africa to pay a cash deposit to obtain temporary German work visas to reduce illegal migration to the EU/ Photo: © DB

Migrants are the pillar of German economy, says employers’ association chief

The integration of refugees in Germany has been more successful than expected, according to the head of the country’s employers’ association. “Of more than a million people who have come to Germany especially since 2015, up to 400,000 will soon have a training position or a job,” said Ingo Kramer, the President of the Confederation of German Employers (Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Arbeitgeber), in an interview with the daily newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine.

Most young migrants could understand German so well after one year’s lessonsthat they could participate in vocational training.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) was therefore right in her optimistic prognosis “We can do it”, which she expressed at the height of the migration crisis. According to information provided by Kramer, the vast majority of the employed refugees work in socially-insured jobs and are thus integrated. “Many migrants have become a pillar of the German economy,” he said.

“We must not be afraid of immigration, but must see people who come to us and work here as an enrichment,” Kramer demanded. Most medium-sized companies are still looking for workers and looking forward to the planned law on skilled labour immigration being proposed by the governing coalition, Kramer said.

The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology announced last September that there were more than 31,000 young refugees in training.

According to figures of the Federal Employment Agency, there has also been an increase in the interest of young refugees in training. As of 30 September 2016, there were approximately 10,250 apprenticeship training applicants with a refugee background, and one year later their number increased to 26,428. A good third of them were successful in finding an apprenticeship.

Sola Jolaoso

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