job market Most of the refugee integration still has to come
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Approximately 300,000 asylum seekers have found work so far. Despite this positive development, there are still significant challenges. In the absence of knowledge of German and precarious status, the chances of refugees are reduced.
FImmigrants can increasingly gain a foothold in the German labor market. Approximately 300,000 migrants from the main eight countries of origin are now in breadwinners. According to statistics from the Federal Employment Agency (BA), this is 88,000 more than a year ago.
"Everything is going well", said BA CEO Detlef Scheele. However, the data also show that the majority of economic integration still has to come. The BA recently registered 482,000 refugees in search of employment. This includes people who are currently completing an integration and language course.
Overall, the employment rate for refugees is much lower at 27 percent than for immigrants with a labor force participation of just under 50 percent. For Germans it is almost 68 percent. According to the BA, more than half of the refugees have a low level of education, 30 percent have a secondary education and 13 percent have a higher education level.
The fact that refugees find a job more difficult than other groups of the population is not surprising. Labor market researchers expect, on the basis of experience, that after five years about 50 percent of refugees will have a job. After ten years, it should be 60 percent. According to Scheele, development is currently "a little better than expected".
Economy praised the positive trend
The BA boss also evaluates the training figures positively. Almost 28,000 young refugees have started an internship and since the beginning of 2017 about 35,000 have applied for a BA internship. "We have always said that those who are registered as children and adolescents have better prospects for the labor market," Scheele said. Language acquisition remains the critical factor in the labor market. It is unrealistic to believe that you can learn German so well in less than a year that it is always enough for a vocational school.
The industry praised the positive trend, but at the same time asked for improvements in language promotion and more reliability for companies that train or employ asylum seekers. "The latest figures show that the great commitment of companies is worthwhile and that the arrival of many refugees in education and employment is succeeding," said the deputy director of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), Achim Dercks.
Despite this positive development, there are still significant challenges. "German language skills, legal and planning security for companies and refugees, but also the willingness to integrate are necessary, so that we are successful in the long term", stressed the DIHK expert.
FDP sees even more obstacles
Michael Hüther, the director of the German Institute for Economic Research (IWW), called on the legislators to ensure rapid availability and to give a residence perspective to well-integrated refugees who have a job or training. "Otherwise companies will no longer be willing to participate," Hüther warned.
The economist demanded the possibility of a lane change. Well-integrated asylum seekers must then be able to remain labor migrants. IW boss Hüther finds it useful to set a closing date so that the lane change is indeed possible for the refugees already in Germany, but not for future asylum seekers.
The FDP labor market expert Johannes Vogel sees other obstacles in the labor market, the refugees difficult to enter. For example, in many regions in Germany there is still a priority test by the employment office, which is completely unnecessary given the good employment situation. Liberals also consider the temporary work as over-regulated. "Yet this sector offers a lot of refugees a job." According to BA, every third job that accepts a refugee is a job at an employment agency.