From left: The Secretary of State Ayse Asar, Federal Employment Agency board member Daniel Terzenbach, Education and Research Minister Ana Karliczek and Employment Minister Hubertus Heil at the opening for the ZSBA in Bonn | Photo: ZAV / Rainer Unkel

Germany: New centre facilitates recognition of foreign qualifications of skilled immigrants

A new centre, offering advice to migrants on how to get their qualifications recognised in Germany, aims to help skilled workers from abroad to fill gaps in the German labour market. Reports by Emma Wallis

“We want to welcome you to Germany,” said Germany’s Employment Minister Hubertus Heil during a workshop following the opening of Bonn’s new service centre.

The centre (Zentrale Servicestelle Berufsanerkennung – ZSBA) is designed to advise potential migrants on employment opportunities and how to get their qualifications recognised.

“Skilled employees are the backbone of our economic strength,” said Anja Karliczek, federal minister for education and research, who was also at the opening. “They are looking for qualified workers in lots of sectors at the moment, that’s why we have to start opening up our searches abroad,” she continued. It is a win for the German economy to welcome highly-skilled workers, Karliczek added, but it is necessary to check that their qualifications meet German standards.

Minister Heil, in a press release from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, explained that Germany needs skilled workers from abroad. “Without them, we cannot maintain the prosperity that we have now.”

Heil said that Germany couldn’t just wait for certain people to apply, but the country needed to start advertising abroad in order to recruit the best people for the job.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks factory in Wörth am Rhein, Germany. Foreigners in engineering professions are among those with very good chances of finding employment in Germany /Photo: Screenshot/Daimler AG


This is where the ZSBA centre comes in. Centres like the one in Bonn are meant to make the process of recognising qualifications more “efficient” in order to speed up the integration of new skilled migrants on the job market.

Welcome to Germany

A board member with the federal employment agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit), Daniel Terzenbach, said that he hoped that they were sending out a welcoming message with the ZSBA.

The ZSBA centers started on 1 February 2020. They are principally aimed at skilled migrants who are still living in their home countries but who hope to come to Germany with a job contract. As well as helping in the process of recognising people’s qualifications, the ZSBA can also assist with job searches.

The centers have an initial four years of funding from the Federal Ministry for Research and Education. ZSBA’s HQ is in Bonn. Anyone interested in contacting the centre can do so by mail, telephone or over various chat apps via the “Virtual Welcome Center” or ZAV. You can find details of what the centre does and how to contact it on the website:

Contacting the ZSBA

Once you have filled out the contact form, you can talk to one of the advisers at the centre about how to go about getting your qualifications recognised. On the centre’s website, they underline that they do not make the decision about whether a person’s qualifications will be recognised, just how to go about getting them recognised.

The ZSBA does however help potential skilled migrants to assemble the documents that they need. They then forward them on to the relevant departments to be assessed.

The Hotline number for the ZSBA is +49 3018151111 You can reach someone on that number between 8-16 hours (German time) Monday to Friday.

© InfoMigrants

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