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German firms 'should hire more refugees'

August 26, 2015

The Federal Employment Agency has urged German businesses to hire more refugees and harness their potential. Their ability to speak several languages is among the qualities it says would be an asset to firms.

The Federal Employment Agency has urged German businesses to hire more refugees.
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/P. Pleul

Refugees are often well-educated and would bring professional and social expertise from their home countries, together with the ability to speak several languages, according to the Federal Employment Agency (BA).

In its new brochure published Wednesday, it urges German firms to harness the potential of refugees, who also would bring qualities such as flexibility and intercultural knowledge.

The brochure also said that immigrants' great motivation, high willingness to learn and dedication could make up for a still insufficient knowledge of German or missing certificates.

Raimund Becker, board member at the BA, estimates that many of those fleeing war, displacement and political persecution stay for a long time or even permanently in Germany, and should be quickly integrated into the labour market.

Ingo Kramer, president of the German Employers' Association, said that regulations must be simplified in order to enable refugees find training and jobs.

Funding tools for vocational training for asylum seekers with a high chance of being granted permission to stay in Germany should be used, as well as increasing the opportunities for language training, he urges.

Germany unable to hire enough newcomers

The brochure, entitled "Using potential - employing refugees," was produced by the BA, together with the German Employers' Associations (BDA) and the Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

Manfred Schmidt, president of BAMF, said in recent years legislators had already clearly improved access to the labor market for refugees, and said that it was now important that employers are informed and supported.

The brochure follows figures showing that more than half a million training contracts were signed in Germany last year, but 37,000 traineeships are still open because there weren't enough applicants.

German companies are finding it increasingly difficult to hire enough newcomers, even though there are more than 5 million unemployed young people in the EU.

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mh/jil (dpa, KNA)