The 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report by UNESCO congratulates Germany for its policies in recognizing migrants and refugees’ prior qualifications and skills. The recognition of foreign professional qualifications increases the probability of immigrant employment by 45 percentage points and the hourly wage by 40%. A million migrants a year visit the website ‘Recognition in Germany’, which offers advice on the recognition procedure in 9 languages. The information on foreign vocational training systems and professional qualifications in the BQ-Portal is accessed annually by over 180,000 website visitors, primarily assessment authorities, companies and experts.
The Professional Qualifications Assessment Act, also known as the Recognition Act, came into effect on 1 April 2012, in order to facilitate the assessment and recognition of foreign professional qualifications. People with foreign professional qualifications can have their qualifications evaluated by an assessment authority (e.g. chamber of trade or industry), irrespective of residence status or citizenship. As part of the recognition process, the applicant’s foreign qualification is compared to the corresponding German qualification in order to determine their equivalence.
If an applicant cannot provide the necessary documentation of his or her professional qualifications obtained abroad, or if the evidence is incomplete, the qualification analysis can be conducted. The qualification analysis will look at the applicant’s skills, abilities and knowledge with regard to the profession they wish to work in. This may be done through specialised discussions or work samples, for example. The results will be documented in a qualification report and will form part of the equivalence assessment. Between June 2015 and December 2016, around 20,000 refugees took part in recognition consultations.