Job centre: Germany needs two million skilled immigrants

Frank-Jürgen Weise, head of the Federal Labour Agency (BA), said in an interview published Saturday that Germany needs two million qualified foreigners over the next few years to avoid a labour shortage.

Job centre: Germany needs two million skilled immigrants
Photo: DPA

“It won’t work out without targeted immigration,” Weise told Die Welt newspaper, adding that some industries and regions were already suffering from a shortage of workers.

Weise said that current prognoses suggested that by 2025, Germany will be lacking between six and seven million skilled workers. “We might be able to fill half of this gap by mobilizing the domestic workforce,” he said.

He also warned, “The worst case scenario is that companies start re-locating to where the workforce is, or restructuring so that they don’t need so many skilled workers.”

In March, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government approved legislation to recognize foreign qualifications, making it easier for non-EU people to find work in Germany.

Unemployment is currently dipping to an historical low, and is expected to go below three million people this month.

But the ranks of Germany’s employed include a rising number carrying out so-called “mini-jobs”, whose salary must be less than €400 per month.

There were nearly five million people in this position in April, a rise of 0.6 percent on the year, according to the BA. A further 2.4 million were doing a “mini-job” on top of another job.

DPA/The Local/bk

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TEST: Could you pass the German citizenship exam?

Obtaining German citizenship involves clearing numerous hurdles - including a multiple-choice citizenship test that will quiz you on your knowledge of German history, culture, geography and politics. Could you pass it?

TEST: Could you pass the German citizenship exam?

The German passport is one of the most powerful in the world – but getting your hands on one is no mean feat. 

Alongside strict residency and language requirements, people who want to become a naturalised German citizenship will have to sit an exam known as the Einbürgerungstest (Citizenship Test).

The exam is designed to ensure that migrants understand important aspects of Germany’s political system, like the rights enshrined in the constitution, and can deal with aspects of day to day life and culture in the Bundesrepublik.

READ ALSO: TEST: Is your German good enough for citizenship or permanent residency?

Additionally, there are usually questions on important milestones in German history such as the Second World War and the GDR, and you may encounter some geography questions and questions on the European Union as well. 

The test is in German and consists of 33 questions: 30 questions on Germany in general, and three related to the specific federal state you live in. 

It’s all in German, so people sitting the exam need to be fairly confident with their reading skills – but since it’s multiple choice, writing skills thankfully aren’t required. 

Though this may sound daunting, people are given a full hour to complete the test – and, anecdotally, most tend to finish much more quickly than that. You also only need to score 17 out of 33 (so just over 50 percent) to pass.

In addition, there are only a set number of questions that the Citizenship Test alternates between. You can find a list of all of them (in German) here, and also take a German-language practice test here.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How I got German citizenship – and how you can too

If you’d like to test your knowledge in English, however, we’ve put together a representative list of 16 questions to get you started. Viel Glück! (Good luck!)