The publication of an OECD report on the immigration of foreign workers to the German labor market has prompted keen media interest over the last few days.
After we reported only last week about the lack of sufficient interest of German IT companies to searching for qualified staff abroad, we are now presenting a comprehensive economical study of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).
The study describes that the access to the German labor market as relatively easy (compared to other OECD member countries). Yet numbers suggest that in Germany, in spite of the alleged shortage of skilled workers, the market share of labor migrants from outside the EU and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) accounts for a fifth and even tenth of the share of other studied countries such as Australia, Denmark, Canada and the United Kingdom.
SMEs account for considerable difficulties with migrant workers
The situation with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) could be described as problematic. These types of businesses often encounter serious difficulties in finding suitable staff from abroad, which is apparent from the graph illustrating the results of the surveyed companies. .
Indeed, the shortage of skill workers is far more common in SMEs than in larger firms,
In contrast to big companies, SMEs have no international intercompany personnel exchange to facilitate recruitment of expat employees.Therefore the report recommends employers – especially SMEs – put more effort into looking for qualified personnel aboard if they cannot meet their need for skilled workers on the local labor market, the OECD says.
One of the many explanations of the problematic situation is that both at home and aboard the German immigration system is perceived as restrictive and difficult to access, argues the OECD report.
OECD recommends coining of an immigration strategy
Yves Leterme, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD, advised for a consistent immigration policy during the presentation of the study on 4 February 2013 in Berlin. Without such an approach, meeting the projected shortage of skilled workers would be difficult: ‘The prosperity of Germany is largely dependent on whether it will be able to stay competitive despite its aging population.’
Read the full OEDC study ‘Immigration of foreign workers: Germany’ by clicking on the PDF thumb below.