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Skilled migrants urgently needed, says minister

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Skilled migrants urgently needed, says minister
Photo: DPA
08:33 CEST+02:00
With Germany industry facing a looming skills shortage, Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle revealed on Friday he was planning a major recruitment drive to attract skilled migrants.

That included encouraging German firms to pay cash incentives to lure foreign workers, he told daily Handelsblatt.

“The question of how Germany becomes lastingly attractive to skilled migrants is right at the top of my agenda,” he said.

Part of the plan encourages payment of Begrüßungsgeld or “welcome money” for guest workers.

“It is conceivable that some businesses who can afford it and have an urgent need, pay skilled foreign workers an incentive,” he said.

He ruled out, however, using taxpayers’ money to subsidise skilled migrants to relocated to Germany.

Economists agree that Germany’s export-driven economy, which relies heavily on skilled workers such as engineers to develop its high-end manufactured goods to sell overseas, will be gradually eroded in years to come by a dearth of such qualified professionals.

“The skills shortage, and not unemployment, will in the coming years be the key problem for the German job market,” Brüderle said.

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