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Immigration about skills, not faith, minister says
Photo: DPA

Immigration about skills, not faith, minister says

Published: 19 Oct 2010 11:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Oct 2010 11:55 GMT+02:00

Recognition of foreigners’ professional credentials could be a key to promoting integration, Education Minister Annette Schavan said Tuesday, as she pushed a plan to attract 300,000 skilled migrants.

The minister told broadcaster ZDF it was a “sign of respect,” to immigrants, when the German government and employers accepted the value of their professions.

Schavan defended Bavarian premier and Christian Social Union leader Horst Seehofer, who has said he sees no need for immigration from other cultures. Seehofer wanted only a targeted immigration system – a goal everyone agreed on, Schavan said.

“So we’re talking about qualifications and not about religion,” she said.

Other countries had made more of an effort to attract skilled workers, she added.

In Monday’s issue of daily Financial Times Deutschland, Schavan, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said Germany could expect to gain 300,000 new skilled migrants by improving the system by which their credentials are assessed.

Schavan wants a new law guaranteeing that foreigners’ applications to have their qualifications recognised will be dealt with within three months. These qualifications must be assessed by the relevant chambers of commerce or professional associations.

Furthermore, the criteria for assessment should be simplified, she said. People who had not worked in the job for which they were qualified for a long time could combine their existing qualifications with supplementary training or education.

Schavan backed a points system for targeting qualified immigrants, along the lines of that proposed by Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle. That meant their professional qualifications would be counted along with their German language skills and other qualities, she explained.

However Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière was less impressed by the suggestion of a point system. There was no professional group that was prevented from coming to Germany by the existing law, he said.

“The existing law is very migrant-friendly, if you use it cleverly,” he said.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, meanwhile, blamed industry for the skills shortage, saying that businesses should stop complaining about the lack of skilled migrants and take more care to stop the emigration of German workers to other countries.

“This is clearly not a problem of the German immigration law or the policy, but rather of the attractiveness of work and wage conditions,” he told the Passauer Neue Presse.

Do you have a story to tell about having your credentials recognised in Germany? If so, please contact The Local : news@thelocal.de

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Your comments about this article

14:01 October 19, 2010 by ramon2010
Comment: Lets see whats goin to come. Few years back it was the green card, now its the point system. 2 years visa and 'f*#k off' kind of attitude doesnt help to bring qualified people. Just by calling it 'green card' you could bluff a couple of them. Germany still has to lear it.
14:08 October 19, 2010 by DinhoPilot
Nice picture! I wonder if its from US seeing the diversity and "multikult" present on it!
14:17 October 19, 2010 by Slimtots
The picture is from Jacobs University Bremen, here in Germany! A private institution, very international, and my alma mater :)
14:53 October 19, 2010 by Major B
It does indeed look like picture from the U.S. Thnx Slimtots for informing.

Tell you what, the butts that sometimes comment on diversity on this site say some shameful things. Just shameful. But, the likes of Sarazin live on proudly I see.

I read that the 82 million population in Germany is about 90 - 91% German. Is that a high enough ratio? I guess you could just accept the declining population rate like the Japanese.
15:05 October 19, 2010 by Deutschguy
First, this is just dumb: "¦quot;The existing law is very migrant-friendly, if you use it cleverly,¦quot; he said." You shouldn't have to be 'clever' to get qualified employees. Sounds like the law has to be worked around in order for an employer to actually use it.

Two problems: One is higher wages and lower taxes abroad for technically skilled German graduates. The best people leave for Canada or the US to earn more money. And, there are fewer obstacles there to owning a house or starting a business.

The second is: German employers still don't like to hire foreigners, even if their qualifications are there. Even after a foreigner or somebody without a work Ausweis completes all the tests, praktikums, etc., they can still be turned away by a professional licensing board. If you don't look German, you're crazy to put a picture on your resumé.

Simplify the paperwork. Offer German grads in the fields Germany needs economic incentives to study in those fields and work in Germany for at least 10 years, after graduation. If Germany does not do this, then Canada and the US will keep taking them. Enough of these "Theology" majors!

And, people like Dinhopilot, are bad for the German economy and need to "get over it".
15:49 October 19, 2010 by nevskj
It is really important to read this article:

http://www.west-info.eu/chancellor-merkels-blunder/
22:04 October 19, 2010 by radagast
why there are so few foreign students in Germany despite a presence of some of the world best universities in germany? why people from india, china, japan, or other asian countries coming here like they go to USA, Canada or Australia? All are muslim nuts? I doubt that. question yourself Sarazzin followers.
03:27 October 20, 2010 by crm114
i imagine the need in many cases to be able to speak german would put people off, almost universally people tend to have studied english as a second language in their home countries so the USA, UK, Aus etc would seem like logical choices.

In addition, the UK offers a very generous social support infrastructure which is handed out like confetti to all comers.
07:15 October 20, 2010 by enfanterrible
This is just another aphorism that reflects the inconsistency in German politics and in German society.

It is ironic that although the majority of American, British, or other native-English speaking expats living in Germany BARELY speak German, it is never an issue and is hardly mentioned in the German media. There is absolutely no discussion among politicians on how to integrate these foreigners, and there is no pressure to assimilate.

However, for a Nigerian, Polish, or Chinese immigrant who speak German fluently with even a PhD degree, it is next to impossible to find/get a job in Germany, and the so-called migrant-friendly laws that Mr. de Maiziere referred to is not as friendly as he would like to have us believe.

All this talk of attracting highly educated and specialized immigrants is a feeble attempt to detract the attention away from the fact that Germany does not want and value immigrant/people of color no matter what degree or work qualification/experience they have.

Just a thought … I wonder if we took a photo of the top executives and managers of the top 10 companies in Germany, whether it would still look like the picture above … highly doubtful!
14:14 October 20, 2010 by DinhoPilot
@Deutschguy

What kind of pot are you smoking? That must be pretty strong since you are so delusional! Or what is your problem? That I said it looks like US? I'm not the only one who thought that and that simply proves my point! I don't need your bla bla bla political talk to prove anything to anyone. I've witnness the harsh reality of immigration of some people who hard everything to make it through (language skills, degree, this and that...)

Reality hurts suck it up!
14:01 October 21, 2010 by Deutschguy
@DinhoPilot: I apologize for my misinterpreting your comment.

I thought you were being sarcastic about diversity in the US and implying that you hoped that it never came to Germany.

I have read on here so many times comments like that from Germans who put down or make fun of diversity, I was kind of "loaded for bear" when I began reading. Sorry.
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