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Germany looks to Spain and Greece for workers

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Germany looks to Spain and Greece for workers
Photo: DPA
07:57 CEST+02:00
German authorities desperate to fill empty jobs needed to keep the economic upswing going are targeting professionals in crisis-hit countries like Spain, Greece and Portugal.

“There is great potential in Spain, thousands of engineers are unemployed, also IT specialists – the interest in Germany is considerable,” Monika Varnhagen, director of the foreign and specialist section of the German Labour Agency told Die Welt newspaper on Monday.

But she said there were often problems with the language, with only one in ten having even basic German. Although those looking for jobs in Germany were willing to learn, this necessity slows down the process.

“Or, alternatively, the employer in Germany accepts that someone who has little German knowledge but good English can join the company and get sorted out in situ. In our conversations with employers we are currently finding out how great the willingness is to depend on such people and to invest in them.”

She said her staff had already accompanied a number of German employers on a recruitment drive to Spain and that the first work contracts were being signed, with a further trip planned for September.

She said the next countries to be targeted would be Portugal and Greece. “In Portugal there are very many unemployed engineers but there are hardly any who are qualified and who speak German – the rate is less than two percent.

"In Portugal there is also a good training in care. There is great interest among carers for work in Germany. In certain circumstances we could find professionals for Germany hospitals and care homes.

“In Greece it is less about engineers than doctors. For Greek doctors Germany is interesting because they have to wait for a very long time in Greece to train to become specialists. Here in Germany they can do this training in four or five years and also work as doctors in hospitals. We have long been cooperating with Austria in this area.”

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