New German Economy Minister Calls For More Migrants To Fill Labour Gaps

PASSAU, GERMANY - OCTOBER 28: Migrants cross border to Austria on October 28, 2015 near Wegscheid, Germany. Bavarian Governor Horst Seehofer has accused the Austrian government of wantonly shuttling migrants in buses from the Slovenian border across Austria and dumping them at all hours of day and night at the …
Johannes Simon/Getty Images

German Economy and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck has called for even more migrants to come to Germany to fill gaps in the labour market, stating the country could have productivity issues going forward.

Habeck stated this week that Germany will need to increase immigration to tackle possible shortages of workers, saying, “We have 300,000 job openings today and expect that to climb to a million and more,” and adding, “If we don’t close that gap, we will have real productivity problems.”

“Naturally, (this means) better combining qualifications, training and possibilities for families and jobs, but in Germany certainly stepped-up immigration as well, and in all areas, for engineers, crafts people, carers. We have to organise this,” the Green Party politician, who also serves as Vice-Chancellor in the leftist coalition government, added, Reuters reports.

According to the German Institute for Economic Research, around 300,000 German workers are expected to retire or leave their jobs in 2022 and by 2029 the number could swell to as high as 650,000, with the country requiring five million new workers to fill positions by 2030.

A report from the German Economic Institute (IW) released on Wednesday suggests that even prior to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, there had been a shortage of 14,000 professional drivers and that one in four drivers in Germany, nearly 133,000 people, come from migrant backgrounds.

In the food and beverage industry, the ratio of migrant-background workers is even higher at one in three for a total of 91,000 workers.

For years, various experts have called for Germany to take in more migrants to fill labour shortages, with expert Herbert Brecker of the Institute for Research on the Labour Market (IAB) stating in 2020 that only mass migration can solve the issue.

Chairman of the German Board of the Federal Employment Agency Detlef Scheele echoes the sentiment last summer, saying Germany needs at least 400,000 migrants per year saying, “The fact is: Germany is running out of workers.”

While many advocates for more and more migrants to arrive in Germany, not all migrants are qualified for the jobs that are available.

In 2016, following the height of the migrant crisis, the German Federal Employment Agency admitted that as many as 74 per cent of the one million migrants who had arrived had no qualifications whatsoever.

Other countries that took in large numbers of migrants during the crisis, such as Sweden, have also seen a similar problem.

Last April, statistics from the Swedish Parliamentary Investigative Service (RUT) revealed that as many as 675,000 migrants living in Sweden were on welfare benefits or were not able to independently support themselves through work.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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