Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is trying to cope with a labor shortage in many sectors. While experts warn that the labor shortage may threaten the country’s economic growth in the coming years, the government, which is trying to find a solution to the problem, plans to speed up the citizenship process.
Germany’s Ministry of Labor has prepared a new plan to reduce bureaucratic barriers to immigration, shorten the duration of citizenship and facilitate multinational citizenship so that its country can attract more skilled workers from abroad.
Identifying digital change in the economy, the pandemic, and the Ukrainian war as major factors creating new challenges for the labor market, the government sees the solution in modernizing immigration law and improving education opportunities.
Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil, who said, “Searching for skilled labor is an existential problem for many companies,” announced that they have prepared a new strategic document that will enable “Germany to become an attractive immigrant country in international competition for skilled labor force” to reverse this trend.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck also summarized the purpose of the strategy by saying, “We need to be open to immigration and encourage Germany to become a cosmopolitan country with interesting and high-quality job opportunities.”
What changes in citizenship are foreseen?
The document states that the framework conditions for immigration need to be improved “to make foreign skilled workers and their families want to live and work in Germany”.
In this context, it is planned to allow multiple citizenship and facilitate citizenship.
The duration of residence in the country to apply for citizenship will be reduced to five years, and this period will be three years if certain compliance performance is met.
In addition to these conveniences, employers also demand that the obligation of foreign workers to have their language skills verified by the competent authorities, which is already busy, should be removed.
Women and education
The government also plans to improve the tax system to attract more women to the job market, and to increase the number of nurseries and nurseries where young children fall behind due to the country’s educational structure.
Another plan included in the strategy is to encourage workers to take advantage of further education and training opportunities.
Faced with the problem of an aging population, Germany needs a lot of workforce, especially in order to be a leader in digital fields and energy transformation.
According to Employment Agency data, 887 thousand job postings were posted in August. This number has increased by 108 thousand compared to last year.
According to the data provided by the government, there will be a shortage of qualified workforce of approximately 240 thousand in 2026.
Prime Minister Olaf Scholz’s coalition government of Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals plans to submit the necessary legislative changes as part of the strategy to parliament in the coming months.