Spaniards flock to Germany as eastern Europeans stay away
Published on: 05 Jul 2011 10:45 CET
The interest can be seen through enrolment rates in German courses in southern Europe, which are skyrocketing, reports the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ).
“Many Spanish engineers are now going to German courses because they have good opportunities here," Vera Calasan, head of temporary employment agency Manpower Germany, told WAZ.
Last year 35,000 Spaniards participated in Goethe Institute language courses and the number of applications is increasing this year, the newspaper reported.
Many Spaniards and Poles are coming to Germany to work in highly skilled positions, such as engineering. Tens of thousands of engineering positions are currently vacant in Germany and employers are searching for new workers.
Exactly the opposite is happening in eastern Europe, where many prospective immigrants are only qualified for low-skilled jobs. A feared flood of cheap workers from Eastern Europe has not materialized, despite the concerns of German unions and politicians. Immigration restrictions for many Eastern European countries, including Poland, Hungary, Slovenia and Latvia, were lowered at the beginning of May.
The economic situation in foreign countries also has a major influence on workers’ migration patterns.
Germany’s Federal Employment Agency reported that “because of the difficult situation in Spain there is a markedly increased interest in employment in Germany.”