Improved labor market integration of foreign workers

According to a new OECD report, Germany is now the OECD’s second most important destination for permanent migration after the United States. As OECD expert Thomas Liebig claims, Germany is the central engine of migration in Europe. The inflow of foreigners to Germany experienced a double-digit growth with almost 465,000 migrants in 2013. This increase is driven primarily by migrants from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe.

A significant increase of the foreign workers in the German labor market was observed in 2012-2013. The number of workers who migrated from other EU countries increased by 267,000. However, the increase in the number of workers who migrated from third countries was much slower: Only 58,000 new workers were registered.

Also the integration into the labor market has improved significantly according to the OECD report. The investment into the assessment of foreign qualifications contributed to this process. Around 30,000 applications for assessment of equivalence of professional qualification obtained abroad were submitted in 2012. In most cases the full equivalence was granted. Since the assessment of foreign professional qualifications is an important tool of securing an adequate supply of skilled labor, further effort is necessary: Despite a high recognition rate, many applicants are granted only partial equivalence in the end of the assessment process. For this reason more adjustment qualification programs should be offered, so that the applicants have the chance to obtain full equivalence.

For more information, see the OECD’s annual International Migration Outlook.