Germany Gives Up Plan to Attract More Highly Skilled Workers | Business | Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 25.10.2006

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Germany Gives Up Plan to Attract More Highly Skilled Workers

The German government has abandoned plans to make it easier for highly skilled foreign workers to immigrate to Germany.

An Mongolian computer specialist showing his work permit

The German government seems to be in no hurry to lure skilled workers

The German government decided against lowering the requirements necessary for academics and skilled workers to move to Germany permanently.

"The Ministry of Labor believes that the current regulations are completely sufficient," said spokesperson for domestic policy issues of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Dieter Wiefelspütz on Tuesday. "We accept this."

Domestic policy experts in the German coalition government had previously agreed to make it easier for academics and highly qualified workers to come to Germany.

Hurdles remain

Dieter Wiefelspütz

Dieter Wiefelspütz

According to the original plan, the minimum wage requirement for young immigrants applying for a residence permit in Germany was to be lowered to 63,000 euros a year.

It is currently at 85,000 euros a year, which is seen by some as a significant hurdle for young people at the beginning of their career. Only five percent of Germans belong to this income category.

German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that some 900 highly qualified workers were granted residence in Germany last year.

According to Wiefelspütz, however, low numbers of skilled workers coming to Germany are not related to the limitations of the immigration law.

At the same time, Germany's Federal Statistics Office said that 145,000 Germans moved abroad in 2005 -- about the number of people who live in a small city like Potsdam near Berlin. More than half of German emigrants were under 35.

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