Claim: Mass Migration Will Not Help Solve Skilled Worker Shortage

BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 25: Two women from Jordan (C) and Syria learn about job opportunities at a stand at the second annual jobs fair for refugees and migrants at the Estrel hotel and conference venue on January 25, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The intiative brings together exhibitors from retail, …
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Head of the Federal Agency for Labor, Frank-Jürgen Weise has said that new migrants and asylum seekers have little chance of filling Germany’s skilled worker problem because very few of them meet the needed qualifications.

Frank-Jürgen Weise has had a long career in the German government and is now retiring at the age of 65. Mr Weise, who also briefly managed the Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) admits that despite the unemployment rate being lower than when he first took office as head of the Labour agency, migrants will not be able to meet the increasing demand for skilled work in Germany RP Online reports.

Speaking to the site Weise said, “ only ten to 15 percent of the refugees are well qualified and find a job within a year. A large group has practical experience, but no recognised training.” He added, “And 20 percent have neither school nor vocational training. This makes it clear: refugees are not an answer to our professional deficit.”

Many politicians in Germany are keen on the idea of one euro an hour jobs for asylum seekers which are said to give them work experience and allow employers to hire them for far less than a German worker, others have called for giving them minimum wage. Weise commented on the subject saying, “if you want the minimum wage policy, we must not allow any exceptions. ”

Weise said that job centres around the country cater to around 455,000 migrants. Among them are 178,000 unemployed of which 143,000 are recognised with refugee status. Many of the migrants are likely in integration and language classes as reports have revealed that  very few major companies have hired migrants over the course of the migrant crisis.

Despite German Chancellor Angela Merkel telling companies to hire unqualified migrants in September of last year, the figures for migrant employment have been disappointing at best. Figures released in December of 2016 showed that of the 1.2 million migrants who had poured into Germany only 34,000 had full-time work and many were on temporary or zero-hour contracts.

The comments from Weise are in line with previous comments he made last year when he recognised that skills shortages were not being filled by asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa and called on the government to focus more on migration from other parts of Europe.

Over the last year, several economists have also noted that migrants will likely be a drain on the German system, rather than a boon to the welfare system and harm long-term economic growth.

 Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at





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