On November 16th, 2023, ageneo took part in the amiga Career Day. The amiga Career Day is an online fair for Munich-based companies, international professionals and students, that takes place annually. The fair offers professionals and students the opportunity to take their career in Munich to the next level. They were able to:
- Contact employers at the booths or via chat,
- view job advertisements from the exhibitors and
- take part in preparatory seminars organized by amiga.
During the fair, there were also several opportunities to find out important information about entry and visa restrictions in Germany. At first glance, this may seem unusual for a job fair in Munich, but it makes sense when you consider the current demand for skilled workers in Germany.
What is the current situation on the job market?
According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, there is no shortage of skilled workers in Germany, only a shortage of skilled workers in certain sectors and regions. This shortage has currently reached its highest level in Germany. According to the Federal Employment Agency, there is a shortage in 200 of the 1,200 occupational groups surveyed. This means that there is a shortage of staff in one in six professions. Demographic developments are likely to exacerbate this problem. Labor Minister Hubertus Heil assumes that there will be a shortage of seven million workers on the German market by 2035.
What are the reasons for the shortage of skilled workers?
Some shortages can be traced back to the coronavirus pandemic, during which many industries have laid off or lost employees. Although Germany has largely recovered economically from the effects of the pandemic, staff are not returning to their previous positions. According to the Federal Employment Agency, almost 390,000 employees left the hospitality industry in 2020 and took up new positions. Everyday consumers are also noticing the lack of staff in professions that have been severely affected by the pandemic. Anyone trying to get a hairdressing appointment or looking for a handyman will notice that the supply has changed significantly.
Nevertheless, the main reason for the shortage of skilled workers is the demographic change in Germany. The so-called “baby boomer generation“, which was born in the 1950s and 1960s, is characterized by a comparatively high birth rate. These age groups will increasingly leave the labor market in the 2020s, leaving a considerable gap. Currently, people of retirement age still make up the smallest part of the population. In 10 to 15 years, however, all “baby boomers” will have left the labor market and people of retirement age will make up the largest part of the German population.
What opportunities are there for the labor market?
There are various approaches to minimizing the gap:
Reducing the unemployment rate
Reducing the unemployment rate is a realistic measure, but in many cases, it is not a feasible solution. In economically strong cities such as Munich, for example, the number of unemployed is low, but the shortage of skilled workers remains high. This is partly since qualified unemployed people are often not qualified for the occupations in demand or live in the wrong region.
Delay retirement age
Delaying the retirement age does not offer any major opportunities, as it would only temporarily postpone the problem. Although workers from the “baby boomer generation” would retire later, they would still be followed by generations with lower birth rates who would not be able to fill the gap left behind in quantity.
Increasing the female employment rate
Increasing the female employment rate offers an effective opportunity. In 2022, 73.1% of women between the ages of 15 and 64 were in employment, only 7% less than men. However, the greatest potential lies in women’s working time model. According to Eurostat, 48.7% of women aged 15 to 64 worked part-time in the first quarter of 2023. An increase in this proportion would be a significant opportunity for the German labor market. However, a lot would have to change in Germany to promote this, particularly regarding childcare and re-entry at work after parental leave, as well as the distribution of “care work“.
The potential of the new immigration policy
More immigration to Germany probably offers the greatest opportunity for the German labor market. According to calculations by the IAB, Germany needs 400,000 immigrants every year to maintain its labor supply. The new “Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz” (skilled workers immigration act) has been in force since November 2023, and German politicians are hoping that this will meet the demand. Easier immigration of qualified people is intended to position Germany as a more attractive location for international skilled workers.
The main aim is to attract workers from non-EU countries and offer them long-term prospects to strengthen the German labor market. A key element of this is the “Blaue Karte EU” (EU Blue Card), which is comparable to the US “Green Card” and acts as a work visa for people from countries outside of the EU.
In addition, the so-called “Chancenkarte” (opportunity card) will be introduced in Germany from 2024, which is intended to make it easier for a wider range of skilled workers from various professional fields to come to Germany to find a job.
The Blue Card for international skilled workers
The Blue Card is intended to give an ultimate boost to the immigration of international skilled workers to Germany and bring it to an all-time high. Although it has been in existence since 2012, the latest changes have eased many of the requirements for obtaining the Blue Card. The requirements include, among others:
- A recognized university degree
- A concrete job offer
- A salary of at least 43,800€ gross per year
These requirements are simplified, as there are exceptions and different variants of the Blue Card. There is an exception for IT specialists, for example, who can obtain a Blue Card without a university degree but with other requirements.
Many opportunities open after obtaining the Blue Card, and the newly introduced act has made numerous processes easier for immigrants, including
- Easier change of employer
- Facilitated family reunification
- Facilitated permission for permanent residence
- Employment outside of the original qualification
These facilitations are intended to appeal not only to skilled workers with many years of experience, but also to new entrants in demanded occupations such as engineers, nurses or teachers.
The opportunity card as an alternative
An opportunity card is also being introduced for job seekers, which can be obtained in two ways. Nationals outside the EU with full equivalence of their foreign qualification as “skilled workers” in accordance with Section 18 (3) AufenthG will receive the card without any further requirements. Others must provide proof of a foreign university degree, a state-recognized vocational qualification lasting at least two years, or a qualification issued by a German chamber of commerce abroad. German (level A1 CEFR) or English language skills (level B2 CEFR) are also required.
If these conditions are met, points can be collected for various topics, including
- Recognition of qualifications
- language skills
- work experience
- Connection to Germany
- Potential of the spouse or partner
If at least 6 points have been collected, the card will be issued for a maximum of one year, provided that you are able to support yourself. During the period of residence in Germany, it allows for trial work or part-time employment of up to 20 hours per week. If no other employment title is possible, the opportunity card can be extended by two years if qualified employment is offered.
Borderless expertise: ageneo and the recruitment of international specialists
The amiga Career Day offers an interesting solution to the growing demand in international skilled workers. New immigration initiatives are creating opportunities for experienced professionals and new entrants in shortage occupations.
Dynamism and flexibility in personnel recruitment are crucial for the future of Germany as a business location. Trade fairs such as the amiga Career Day play an important role here.
ageneo sets standards with its “borderless” expertise in recruitment. Participation in amiga Career Day 2023 is an example of our commitment to the global labor market. The newly introduced act makes it much easier to successfully recruit highly qualified specialists from different parts of the world.
In addition, our international network INRALS helps us to place candidates all over the world. INRALS is a global network made up of independent, privately run personnel consultancies and recruiting agencies in over 20 countries. All agencies have a life science industry focus and new members are only selected after a rigorous selection process.
The expansion of our search to the international market is necessary because there are not enough skilled workers available in Germany. More and more companies are therefore deciding to also hire English-speaking talent and to reposition their job offers internationally. This not only facilitates the recruitment process, but also strengthens the diversity and innovative power of the German economy.
What is skilled labor?
Skilled labor is a broad category that includes all jobs that require some level of professional training, certification, education, or specialized know-how.
What is demographic change?
Demographic change refers to the fact that the composition of the population will change over the next few decades. Immigration and emigration of people, birth rates and the number of deaths in a country all contribute to this.
What generations are there?
There are five generations in total:
- Traditionals: Born between 1922 and 1955
- Baby boomers: Born between 1956 and 1965
- Generation X: Born between 1966 and 1980
- Generation Y: Born between 1981 and 1995
- Generation Z: Born from 1995 to 2009
- Generation Alpha: Born between 2010 and today
Does ageneo also offer jobs for people who do not speak German?
We were often asked this question during the fair. There are often jobs that don’t require knowledge of German. For example, our search for a Clinical Development & Operational Lead. Our talent pool is also taking on English-speaking specialists. We place them not only with our clients in Germany, but also with international clients all over the world with the help of our international network INRALS.
written by Laura Strub, Office Manager at ageneo Life Science Experts