In today’s post, we take a closer look at the “Chancenkarte” and what it means for international green technicians looking to power Germany’s transition to renewable energy. The following is an English-language summary of the Federal Government’s press release on the planned changes to the Immigration act. The full German release can be found here.
Foreign skilled workers are to be able to come to Germany more easily in future. To this end, the German Federal Cabinet has approved a bill to reform the Skilled Workers Immigration Act aimed at modernising the nation’s immigration law. It is specifically designed to allow small and medium-sized businesses to acquire skilled workers from abroad by removing bureaucratic hurdles.
The Federal Minister of Labour Hubertus Heil says “Securing our skilled labour base is one of Germany’s greatest economic tasks for the coming decades. We must make better use of the potential at home, for example through more education and training and higher labour force participation of women and older people. In addition, we will also need skilled workers from abroad. With the Skilled Workers Immigration Act, we are laying the foundation for a modern immigration country that not only accepts skilled immigration, but also wants it.”
The number of vacancies in 2022 was around 1.98 million, the highest ever recorded. The combination of an aging population and low birth rates means skilled labour shortages are likely to remain an issue for the foreseeable future. Currently a qualification acquired or recognised in Germany opens up the possibility of coming to Germany as a skilled worker, for example via the EU Blue Card for university graduates from third countries or via the national residence permit.
What is planned is that anyone with such a qualification will be able to work in any qualified occupation in future. The Federal Government is thus creating more flexibility. The second new measure focuses on work experience. This makes immigration possible for workers who have at least two years of work experience and a vocational qualification recognised by the state in their country of origin. However, a salary threshold must be met or the employer must be bound by collective agreements. In future, the vocational qualification no longer has to be recognised in Germany – this means less bureaucracy and thus shorter procedures.
Anyone who wants to have their professional qualification recognised in Germany can do so only after they have entered Germany. To do so, skilled workers and employers must commit to a recognition partnership. This offers advantages to both sides: The employer can employ a qualified skilled worker more quickly while the employee can catch up on the recognition procedure in Germany and do qualified work on the side.
The third way focuses on people’s potential. A Chancenkarte (Chance card) for job-seeking based on a points system is to be introduced. Points are based on qualifications, knowledge of German and English, work experience, connection to Germany, age and the potential of the accompanying spouse or partner. The Chancenkarte makes the search for a job much easier. During the job search, employment of up to twenty hours per week is permitted, including trial employment with a future employer for up to two weeks.
In addition, for the first time, a contingent short-term employment scheme has been created for sectors with particularly high demand. Those who come via this route are allowed to work in Germany for eight months, regardless of qualification. The prerequisite is an employer who is bound by collective agreements. Employment will be subject to social security contributions from the first day.
greentech.training was established to connect foreign skilled workers with the green energy market. At the time of writing, Over 550 green technicians from some 40 different professions are in the pool ready for interview. If you are a company looking to acquire international staff, please contact us.
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