Berlin: Indian IT specialists, engineers and other professionals could benefit from a new initiative by the German government which plans to make it easier for foreign skilled workers to migrate and work in this country.
India`s IT specialists and engineers have a good reputation in this country and a growing number of German companies facing shortage of skilled workers are keen to recruit them.
But Germany`s stringent visa regulations and restrictions on residence permits have been a major hindrance for Indian specialists to fill the vacancies in German companies, according to labour market analysts.
German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Rainer Bruederle now plans to work out a new concept to make it easier for foreigners to relocate in this country to tackle the shortage of skilled workers in all sectors.
In a newspaper interview at the weekend, Bruederle even proposed that German companies should offer a "welcome money" to lure specialists and skilled workers from abroad. Shortage of skilled workers rather than unemployment will be a major problem for the country`s labour market in the coming years and the German companies are in a "brutal competition" with other countries for the world`s most highly qualified workers, Bruederle said.
"The issue of how to make Germany finally attractive for skilled migrants is at the top of my agenda," the minister said.
As the German economy emerges from the worst recession in its post-World War II history, companies are searching for specialists to fill vacant positions at all levels.
Bruederle spoke of plans to launch a "specialists initiative" in the coming months and to develop a common concept together with business associations and scientists to make the country more attractive for highly qualified professionals from all over the world.
One of the proposals being considered to make it easier for foreign specialists to take up jobs in Germany is to reduce the threshold of minimum salary required to secure a residence permit, Bruederle said.
At present, the German law requires that migrants have a minimum annual salary of EUR 66,000 to stay in this country.
He also suggested that companies can pay "a kind of welcome money" to attract skilled workers from abroad, but ruled out the possibility of the federal government "sweetening the way for foreign specialists to Germany with taxpayers` money”.