Germany hopes to combat its skilled labor shortage with a new skilled worker visas, a new ‘opportunity card’.
The ‘chancenkarte’ will use a points system to make it easier for workers with required skills to come to Germany. It is part of a strategy to address the country’s labor shortages proposed by Labour Minister Hubertus Heil, which is set to be presented to the government this autumn.
Every year, quotas will be set based on which industries are in need of workers. To apply for the scheme for new skilled worker visas in Germany, three out of four of the following criteria must be met:
- A German-recognized degree or vocational training
- Professional experience of three years
- Language skills or prior experience in Germany are required.
- Under 35 years old
Currently, most non-EU citizens must have a job offer before moving to Germany. There is already a visa for job seekers, but the chacenkarte is expected to make it easier and faster for people looking for work in Germany.
The opportunity card will allow people to come to the country and look for work or apprenticeships rather than applying from abroad. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they can cover their living expenses in the meantime.
The scheme’s exact details have yet to be finalized.
Why does Germany require skilled workers?
The skilled worker shortage in Germany has reached an all-time high this year. The Institute for Employment Research (IAB) discovered 1.74 million vacant positions across the country earlier this year.
Staff shortages forced nearly half of all companies surveyed by Munich-based research institute IFO to slow down operations in July.
Which industries in Germany are the most affected by staff shortages?
According to an IFO survey, the service sector has been hit the hardest, particularly the lodging and event industries.
Following this are warehousing and storage, service providers, and manufacturing, particularly in the food, data processing equipment, machinery, and metal manufacturing sectors. Many retail establishments, construction firms, and wholesalers have also reported staff shortages.
The pharmaceutical and chemical industries have the fewest skilled workers available. Automotive and mechanical engineering industries are also faring better than other industries.