The vast majority of major German companies reported not having hired any of the million plus migrants who arrived in the country last year.
The German government, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Deutsche Bank predicted the migrants would be an economic boon for the country. Much of the international media echoed these claims, saying many doctors and architects were among last year’s influx of immigration to Germany.
In a survey by the Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung, however, most of the top 30 companies on the German stock exchange (DAX) said they were unable to employ any of the new arrivals. The companies said migrants lacked the necessary qualifications needed to fill any of their roles.
Although the companies surveyed employ four million workers, FAZ reported that between them, they had only hired 54 migrants.
Fifty of these are employed by the German post office, and the vast majority of top German companies hired none at all. Software giant SAP reported having two migrants working for them, and pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck also said they had hired two.
The Kiel-based Institute for World Economics estimated that only two per cent of recent migrants to Germany are employable. Professor Ludger Wössmann, director of the Centre for the Economics of Education in Munich, said his research showed at least two thirds of migrants can’t read or write.
At the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said the migrant influx would provide Germany with an “economic miracle”. Saying migrants who traveled to Germany are highly motivated, the automaker said his company was “looking for such people”.
Despite these claims, FAZ revealed Mr. Zetsche’s company has yet to hire any migrants.
The newspaper reports that many DAX companies are involved in the “We Together” project. The project, launched by United Internet boss Ralph Dommermuth, aims to get migrants in employment.
FAZ reported that United Internet, and its subsidiary 1&1, employ 8,200 people. Of these, though, the companies have only five migrants working for them, all in trainee positions. They said they did not want to make promises they can’t keep.