German Chancellor Angela Merkel has once again expressed her desire to see more workers from overseas move to Germany, but has stressed that she would like a majority of these immigrants to come from Europe.
An OECD report earlier this year revealed that Germany needs to be more open to immigration in order to stave off severe skilled worker shortages, and the country has since responded by aiming to become more welcoming to newcomers.
And speaking at her weekly address this past weekend, Merkel stated that her country needs skilled workers from abroad to plug a labour shortage that threatens to harm Germany’s competitiveness, adding that immigrants should mainly come from other European countries.
A recently introduced ‘blue card’ system designed to encourage people with specialist skills from outside the 28-nation EU has met with limited success.
Last year, less than 2,600 people from outside the EU came to Germany using this system. Experts say Europe’s biggest economy needs tens of thousands of qualified engineers, doctors and care-givers each year because of its aging and dwindling population.