Germany’s coalition parties agreed on a new immigration law on Tuesday (Oct 2) to attract more skilled workers from countries outside the European Union, in a politically risky push to fill a record number of job vacancies and stabilise the public pension system.
Centre-right Chancellor Angela Merkel, hardline Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and Social Democrat Labour Minister Hubertus Heil reached a compromise deal that removes labour market hurdles for all non-EU citizens with job qualifications and German language skills.
The three coalition parties agreed in the outline of their law, seen by Reuters, that companies will be allowed to recruit foreign workers in all professions, regardless of an official list of sectors suffering labour shortages.
The paper also proposes that the government will no longer insist that companies give preference to German citizens in filling vacancies before looking for non-EU foreigners.
In addition, foreign graduates and workers with vocational training will get an opportunity to come to Germany for six months to look for a position if they meet certain job qualifications and German language requirements.
They also have to prove that they have enough financial resources so they will not depend on welfare benefits during their stay in Germany, the parties agreed.
The compromise deal does not include the so-called ‘Spurwechsel’ (lane change) proposal which would allow refugees living in Germany to shed their asylum seeker status if they find a job and learn German.