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Germany looking to China for nursing power

The Local · 28 Sep 2012, 08:18

Published: 28 Sep 2012 08:18 GMT+02:00

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The workers must have the necessary professional qualifications and "the will to learn the German language," Monika Varnhagen , the head of the Labour Office’s international placement agency, told Thursday’s Der Spiegel magazine.

Varnhagen said the healthcare workers would be given a course on German culture and language before leaving China, and that their training would continue on arrival.

The agency is eager to avoid making the same mistakes they did with migrant workers in the 1960s, many of whom came from Turkey and never became well integrated.

Nurses are in short supply in Germany. The Labour Office recently reported there were more than 14,000 vacancies in the field - and the actual number is likely to be much higher, as many companies conduct their own searches without notifying the employment agencies, Der Spiegel said.

And with Germany's population ageing and the birth-rate declining, the demand for qualified nurses is not likely to diminish in the near future.

The agency had high hopes for an influx of qualified workers from eastern Europe after the last barriers for employment in Germany were lifted in May 2011.

Others had hoped the crisis-hit economies in Spain and Greece might motivate workers there to seek jobs in Germany, but in the end only a few hundred healthcare workers came to Germany, Spiegel said.

The agency expects its campaign to attract Chinese workers to be more successful, since wages there are comparatively low.

"China is home to many young people who want to seek their fortune abroad and are willing to invest a lot," Varnhagen said.

Story continues below…

Plans are already in the works to expand the project to other Asian countries.

The Local/sh

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:58 September 28, 2012 by pepsionice
You have lots of unemployed young German people that you could recruit...put into a two-year nursing program and put to work. All this adds up to....is that you want to bring in more labor, to work at a three-quarter pay-scale and profit off the foreigners.
09:34 September 28, 2012 by The-ex-pat
14,000 nurse job vacancies, those 150 will make a real difference!! My brother in law is a nurse. I would not get out of bed for the money and hours he has to work. It is an insult.
09:35 September 28, 2012 by Dayzee
Very correct pepsionice! And then in 30-40 years they will start to complain about the overwhelming population of this new immigrant group.

The best solution is to make it easier for young Germans to get into these types of training programs and jobs without having to have a vast amount of previous education or training.
10:22 September 28, 2012 by Steve1949
@ Dayzee..........Who are you kidding. Most young Germans wouldn't be interested in working in these kind of jobs. Are you suggesting that maybe Germany should give a two week crash course for these jobs? It's more than changing diapers and urine bottles. In any case the jobs pay too little and the hours are long to be interesting for most young Germans.
11:18 September 28, 2012 by freechoice
who in the right frame of mind would want to work long hours with low pay cleaning the craps of complaining elderly everyday? only angels would want to do that. not us sinful humans.
16:03 September 28, 2012 by Darryl
Forgive a bit of Greek debt and send them to Mykonos to be looked after. At least the grand kids might visit.
18:48 September 28, 2012 by Johnne
Importation will start again and then immigrants have to bear the insults. There are so many home grown immigrants in Germany incase young germans don´t want the job/training or occupation so why should they import chinese people again. I know four qualified nurses from Nigeria, Cameroun, Algeria and Sri Lanka based in Heidelberg, Munich and Mannheim. But they all work as either produktion hilfe positions in some factory or some buger king/california night club toilet cleaning jobs. They live in Germany legally, raise family and infact two of them have German husbands, but they won´t give them the chance. The excuse is either "ihr deutsch ist nicht perfect" or their deutsch is with accent. I know many black people who will work 60 hours a week if given the chance but NO they don´t get that chance-it´s really really sad. Germany is a country I love so much but some policies are not ok.

Cheers everyone, miss ya all and Deutschland!

Johnne aus Edinburgh.
22:04 September 28, 2012 by nano.rajan
Made In China... are not guarantee stuff.... ...

look for Philippines or India.....
10:57 September 30, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Cannot understand going to China looking for nurses. Even if Germans wont do this work for the pay offered surely there are other Europeans who will. Isn't that what the EU is supposed to be about? Levelling things out within the EU. It makes no sense to go to China with how many millions in the EU capable and willing to do this job for the pay offered.
12:03 September 30, 2012 by Lisa Rusbridge
All the comments above surprise me. Being a nurse is not a slack, low paying job. It must mean something different to be a nurse in Germany To earn a B.S.N. in nursing takes 4 years of education and the pay can be decent, around $55,000 per year gross. It is hard work and you have to be able to be one your feet for long hours, be able to do electronic charting now and to have a high tolerance for all things bodily (e.g., fluids, vomit, excrement). I'm not sure what low paying positions everyone is referring to here. Is this about Nurse's Aids positions, and not nurses? Or something else? It surely can't be about fulled fledged nurses.
22:18 September 30, 2012 by jg.
Nobody in China is going to "have the necessary qualifications" because the qualifications they have will not be from German institutions. Foreigners are really only any good for carrying bricks or cleaning toilets, until such time as they have German qualifications. I know of several examples of this attitude but one is of a midwife from Ukraine. This woman was married to a German but subsequently separated and divorced (he was a drunk). She had been a qualified and experienced midwife in Ukraine and had learnt German. When she tried to have her qualifications and experience assessed and recognised, she was told that she would have to start from scratch, taking about 5 years. She could only get work here as a cleaner, so she has since returned to Ukraine and works as a midwife.
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