Germany’s attempt to attract foreign professionals a failure

HRM 20 Nov 2012

A scheme that aims to attract professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) into Germany has flopped, attracting just 139 people since August, a local newspaper reported.

According to the Welt am Sonntag, the response by skilled talent outside the European Union has been less than enthusiastic. This is partly due to the country’s image as overly bureaucratic and unwelcoming to foreigners.

Since Aug 1, qualified foreign professionals from non-EU countries can apply for a Blue Card if they have a job offer that will see them earn a salary of 44,800 euros (US$57,129) or more.

If the applicant works in a field that has a registered lack of skilled labour, the minimum salary is lower, at 34,944 euros (US$44,560).

The policy also lifted some work restrictions for foreign students, and granted them 18 months after they complete their studies to find a job in Germany, up from one year previously.

In the report, it quoted official figures which said that of the 139 who received “Blue Cards”, 112 went to foreigners living in Germany before 2012 and were already holding other work permits.

"The mass influx of skilled labour has not materialised," said the managing director of a board of experts from German foundations on integration and migration, Gunilla Fincke.

"Germany is seen as unattractive and is also challenging because of the language," she was quoted as saying.

She said that Germany has an international reputation as unwelcoming to newcomers even though it had liberalised its immigration laws over the last several years.

Experts say that the country is not doing a good enough job at promoting itself as an attractive place to work and study.

The president of the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Hans Heinrich Driftmann, also said that the Blue Card had failed to eliminate key hurdles for sought-after foreign professionals.

"German immigration law is still complicated and not very transparent for foreign skilled employees," he told Welt am Sonntag, a complaint frequently heard from German leaders.

Leave your comment
Start a new discussion

HRM Asia forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Post a Comment
HRM Asia welcomes your contribution. Your IP address is recorded in the event of a complaint.
Name *
Email *
(required, but will not display)
Comment *
Please enter in the numbers in the box left.
You are about to submit your comment. Is it:
  • Professional
  • In your own name or pseudonym, not impersonating someone else
  • Free from rude language
  • Free from advertising
  • If you prefer not to post but are still keen to get your viewpoint across, you can always e-mail the editor.
  • 27 Aug | Frazer Jones - Global HR Search and Recruitment | Singapore
    HR payroll expert required to manage and lead a team in accuracy and compliance of payroll benefits programs and practice
    27 Aug | Frazer Jones Global HR Search & Recruitment | Singapore
    Manage all HR, operational and administrative matters for the office
    03 Sep | Michael Page International | Singapore
    The business case for WSH
    Mark Goodsell, Director, Australian Industry Group shares his thoughts on why workplace safety and health makes good business sense
    Itron: A five-prong guideline to employee retention
    Innovation in engagement, motivation and retention of talent
    GSK: Talent management – a serious business imperative
    Performance Leadership Pte Ltd |
    Lunch, Learn and Bond with your teams, all within 1 hour! Choose from a variety of light-hearted, interesting or thought-provoking topics that appeal ...
    Performance Recognition Pte Ltd |
    A monthly business incubator where leaders grow their skills, exchange ideas and share best practices.
    Organisational Development Concepts |
    Companies are fighting to hire talents. How do you select the right candidates with the knowledge, skill and attitude that the company is looking for?