Global HR News
Global HR News
German government launches a drive to get more Ukrainian and other refugees into jobs
The German government on Wednesday announced a drive to get more Ukrainian and other refugees into jobs now that many have a usable knowledge of the German language.
The government is trying to address both a shortage of skilled labor and concerns about high levels of migration. Germany has taken in more than 1 million Ukrainians since Russia’s invasion last year, and also is seeing large numbers of refugees and migrants from elsewhere.
Unlike others who arrive, Ukrainians immediately receive residency status in Germany and the 26 other European Union countries. Labor Minister Hubertus Heil said 132,000 Ukrainians already have found jobs.
“This is a success, but it’s far from sufficient,” he told reporters in Berlin. “It is time now to enter a new phase.”
Counting Ukrainians and others who have recently completed or will soon complete integration courses, which include language learning, there is “a potential for our labor market of about 400,000 people” who are currently receiving benefits and already speak German, he added.
The “job turbo” that the government is now launching involves having job centers put more effort into getting refugees into work. The idea is for officials to meet with refugees every six weeks at most to help them seek suitable jobs and address potential obstacles.
“It’s also clear that we expect them to make efforts and offers must be accepted,” Heil said, noting that jobless benefits can be reduced if people refuse to take work. He said he also wants to get businesses involved and plans a meeting with employers’ organizations and others on Nov. 20.
The government also aims to speed up the recognition of foreign job qualifications. It is appointing a senior official at the Federal Labor Agency, Daniel Terzenbach, to oversee the effort as a “special envoy” for integrating refugees into the labor market.
Heil said the message to refugees with a long-term prospect of staying in Germany is that “now it’s time to get to work,” with help from authorities.
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