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German cabinet approves immigration laws to ease worker shortage

The German cabinet has approved a new immigration law in a bid to attract skilled foreign labour. The long-awaited law, which is due to come into force in 2020, removes several obstacles for immigrants wishing to work in Germany, especially for those who prove they can fill job shortages that Germany and other EU nationals cannot.

It also permits immigrants with appropriate qualifications, German knowledge and necessary financial means, to come to Germany and seek for work. Previously, the opportunity was reserved only for the highly-qualified professionals.

Under this law, foreign labour will also be permitted to come to Germany and have their qualifications approved and officially recognized by a German institution.

German businesses, in particular those suffering because of the absence of appropriately qualified workers, have been demanding such a law for almost three decades. Among them, companies in the IT sector. Only last week, the German IT sector federation Bitkom announced that there were 82,000 vacant jobs in the IT companies, twice as much as the previous year.

“This is a good day for modern Germany,” Labour Minister Hubertus Heil told the assembled reporters.

“This is the area where labour shortages are particularly strong. The new law opens up in the mid-skilled segment,” Thomas Liebig of the OECD group of industrialized nations concluded.


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