Many refugees in Germany lack training or education: report | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 20.07.2016
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Many refugees in Germany lack training or education: report

The level of education among newly arrived migrants in Germany is lower than expected, according to the Federal Labor Office. A quarter have a high school diploma, while three quarters have no vocational training at all.

The German authority for labor-related issues, the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (BA), published a report on Wednesday that highlighted a lower-than-expected level of education and training among the nearly 300,000 refugees who are registered as jobseekers in Germany.

The agency said 74 percent of migrants had never completed any job training and that 58 percent of the new arrivals would only qualify for ancillary positions, such as cleaning or maintenance.

Just over a quarter of asylum seekers looking for work in Germany have the equivalent of a German Abitur, the prestigious diploma that qualifies students for college, the BA said. That's still higher than the status quo in German schools, where 17 percent of all students achieved an Abitur in 2014.

Hard work

Of the nearly 2 million students enrolled in general or vocational schools in Germany in 2014, around 808,000 completed training for a specific job, according to the Federal Statistical Office. Some of them went on to get some form of general education diploma, but about one in five didn't finish their training or pursue further education.

The BA's report came on the heels of revelations that Germany's largest companies weren't hiring many of the new arrivals. Only 54 refugees have found employment at one of the 30 firms listed on the DAX blue-chip stock index, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper reported earlier this month.

The small and medium-sized companies that make up the backbone of the German economy, known as the Mittelstand, have been hiring refugees at a higher rate, but the DAX statistic is still significant because it highlighted a fact the BA report also touched upon: Only 4 percent of new arrivals to Germany are highly qualified.

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