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One in three firms plan to hire a refugee

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Syrian asylum seekers learning to operate a truck in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt. Photo: DPA
08:26 CET+01:00
More than a third of German companies want to hire at least one refugee, a survey showed on Wednesday.

Thirty-four percent of human resources directors contacted by the Ifo think-tank said they planned to hire refugees this year or next year.

If all those firms go ahead with their plans, it would be a big increase on the past two years, when just seven percent of companies hired refugees, Spiegel Online reported.

The study also showed that the hiring managers were well aware of the hurdles to hiring a refugee.

Companies that want to hire non-EU citizens usually have to show that there was no way they could have hired a German or an EU applicant for the job.

But bosses who have hired people who arrived in Germany as refugees say that the challenge has been worth it, with 68 percent saying they plan to hire more in the coming year.

Problems to overcome

Nor are bosses under any illusions about the difficulties they may face once they've overcome the bureaucratic obstacles.

Language was a concern for 68 percent of the managers surveyed, with the qualifications refugee jobseekers might have troubling 46 percent.

But with the labour market currently unfavourable for businesses looking to hire – unemployment is at is lowest since German reunification in 1990 – some businesses are willing to invest in training new workers.

In the survey, 45 percent of respondents who plan to hire refugees said they would be giving them further training on the job.

Ifo surveyed around 1,000 human resources managers for the poll.

SEE ALSO: Rural Germany an 'integration laboratory' for refugees

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