New recognition statistics: the figures keep growing

The German companies benefit from increase in recognition of foreign professional qualifications. The Federal Statistical Office reports a 20% increase over the previous year. This is a particularly important signal in times of skills shortages.

For seven years now, foreigners have been able to have their professional qualifications recognised in Germany. Since the introduction of the law, chambers and state examination offices have been registering more and more recognised vocational qualifications every year. In 2018, 36,400 foreign qualifications were fully or partially recognised, a new record! The annual number of applications has doubled since the German Recognition Act came into force. A total of 140,700 applications were filed between 2012 and 2018.

Most of the applications, a good 60 percent, were filed in the health care sector. Health and nursing care recorded a significant increase of more than 30 percent and is by far the most sought-after profession. Engineers and teachers are at the top of the list of professions in state responsibility, which account for a quarter of the procedures.

A detailed examination of the recognition statistics for federal professions, which include around 28,700 decisions, shows that 52.5 per cent of the procedures led to full equivalence in 2018 and only 2.3 per cent could not be recognised. The remaining 35.5 per cent were decisions requiring a compensatory measure, such as the knowledge examination for health professions, and 9.7 per cent were decisions requiring partial equivalence for so-called non-regulated professions. These include, for example, bottleneck occupations such as mechatronics technician, refrigeration technician or construction electrician. As many skilled workers are sought in Germany, recognition of dual training professions is becoming increasingly important, accounting for 22.7 percent of the procedures. The Skilled Immigration Act will further increase the number of foreign skilled workers - in particular, the new law will allow more qualified workers from the non-EU countries to come to Germany.

Employers can provide concrete support for recognition, e.g. by providing internships that can be a part of the recognition procedure. In addition, appropriate structures and services will be set up and expanded for the introduction of the new Skilled Immigration Act. In this context, the establishment of electronic procedures for the submission of application documents and the establishment of the Central Service Office for Qualified Employees from Abroad seeking recognition should be mentioned in order to simplify and accelerate the procedures for those interested in immigration. The successful implementation of the Immigration of Experts Act can only succeed if all those involved are prepared for the new challenges.

The current figures show how important the Recognition Act is for the non-European holders of professional qualifications: ca. 70 per cent of applications are submitted by persons who have obtained their vocational qualification in a non-EU country, above all Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. In addition, applications from abroad are gaining in importance, with 20 percent of applicants already taking advantage of this opportunity.

The need for information on foreign professional qualifications increases. This is where the BQ-Portal comes in. With our knowledge and work platform, companies and chambers can better assess and evaluate foreign vocational qualifications. Over 3,470 foreign vocational profiles and 92 descriptions of vocational training systems are available.

Complete evaluation of the official statistics on the Federal Recognition Act for 2018 [German]