Germany recognizes skills of 30,000 foreigners

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3 Apr, 2013 Updated Wed 3 Apr 2013 11:09 CEST
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Over 30,000 foreigners in Germany have applied for their professional qualifications to be recognized by government since the law changed a year ago to alleviate a dearth of skilled workers in Europe's largest economy.

New Education Minister Johanna Wanka said on broadcaster ZDF's Morgenmagazin show on Wednesday that the numbers so far were “very positive” and more should be done to inform people about the change.

There are around 300,000 people with overseas qualifications living in Germany, but Wanka said that she did not expect all of them to apply.

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Since last year, people with foreign certifications, in for example teaching and engineering, can apply to have their qualifications recognized in Germany, generally meaning that they do not have to retrain.

For some professions, individual states are responsible while for others, the central government is. There remain five of the 16 states that have chosen not to acknowledge foreign qualifications.

Wanka said that she would be stressing to them the importance of introducing the law, especially due to a lack of trained workers in many fields.

Applications have been open since April 1st, 2012. Critics have voiced concern that the process is too lengthy and complicated. Wanka responded to this with the argument that while the system had room for improvement, vetting vital information must not be omitted.

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2013/04/03 11:09

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