Friday, October 31, 2014
Facing an aging and declining labor force, Germany has introduced a wide array of services at federal, state, and local government levels to improve the labor market integration of new arrivals—including employment counseling, vocational training, and language instruction. A major law passed in 2012 that has helped make the process of certifying skills in Germany more efficient also is paying dividends, the authors of a new report find.
In Investing in the Future: Labor Market Integration Policies for New Immigrants in Germany, researchers Carola Burkert and Anette Haas sketch a picture of a dynamic response to immigrant integration challenges, with policymakers increasingly focused on ensuring that the growing immigrant population has robust pathways into middle-skilled work. Nonetheless, Germany faces significant challenges. New immigrants to Germany enjoy considerable improvements in their access to the labor market during the first few years after arrival, surmounting initial difficulties finding work. However, they still struggle to work their way up into middle- or high-skilled jobs. Principal among the factors holding many back: insufficient language skills and a lack of recognized credentials, which are crucial in a country where skills and formal qualifications are central to finding stable, well-paying jobs.