Positive signal despite Corona: recognition of foreign skilled workers continues to increase!

New Destatis figures show that last year, more foreign vocational qualifications were recognised than in previous years,. Especially against the backdrop of demographic change and the corona crisis, Germany is dependent on skilled workers from abroad.

The figures of the Federal Statistical Office published on 24.8.2021In 2020 show, 44,800 foreign professional qualifications were fully or partially recognised, that is five percent more than in the previous year. Two thirds of the recognitions came from the health sector, above all from nurses and doctors. Every fifth recognition was for non-regulated occupations, such as dual training occupations. There is in particular a desperate need for skilled workers such as electricians, plumbers, heating and air-conditioning technicians or foresters. Overall, more qualifications were recognised last year than ever before. At the same time, the number of new applications fell slightly, probably also due to the Corona crisis. Most of the foreign professionals whose vocational qualifications were recognised completed their training in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Syria. This underlines the trend from the previous year where most applications refer to qualifications acquired in a non-EU country.

Since 2012, foreign skilled workers have been able to have their professional qualifications recognised in Germany, and in March 2020 the immigration of skilled workers from third countries was simplified with the Skilled Workers Immigration Act (FEG). Not without reason: Germany is dependent on skilled workers from abroad. There is already a shortage of skilled workers in many sectors - demographics and the soon to retire boomer generation will significantly exacerbate the problem. It is therefore a positive signal that applications from abroad in 2020 will show an increase of almost 11 percent compared to the previous year.

Since the launch of the Recognition Act in 2012, a total of over 422,000 applications for recognition of a foreign professional qualification have been submitted. This includes professions regulated under federal and Land law as well as certificate evaluations in academic professions.

Sources and further information:

Destatis Press release

Sources and further information in German:

IW Nachrichten 

Anerkennung in Deutschland

Auswertung der amtlichen Statistik zum Anerkennungsgesetz des Bundes für 2020

In 2020, 31,536 applications were submitted for federal professions:

  • Proportion of regulated professions: 75.6% (health care workers and nurses as well as doctors occupy the 1st and 2nd places of the most frequent professions in the recognition procedure).
  • Proportion of non-regulated professions: 24.4% (electronics technicians occupy 8th place among the most frequent professions in the recognition procedure)
  • 73.8% of applications were submitted for a vocational qualification from a non-EU country (the countries with the highest number of applications for training were: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania)
  • 34.6% of applications were submitted from abroad

In 2020, 36,696 recognition procedures for federal occupations were decided:

  • Proportion of full equivalence: 53.8%
  • Proportion of partial equivalence: 8.7%
  • Proportion requiring a compensatory measure: 34.9%
  • Proportion of no equivalence: 2.6%