OECD positive about Germany’s refugee integration

EPA/OLIVER WEIKEN

German Federal Minister for Labour and Social Affairs Andrea Nahles (C) pose for a picture during a visit to a qualification class for refugees of German railway operator Deutsche Bahn in Berlin, Germany, 14 March 2017.

OECD positive about Germany’s refugee integration


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The integration of refugees into the German workplace has improved well, according to the 35-nation OECD. The organisation reported that 75% of 2,200 German firms surveyed had few or no difficulties with those they hired.

According to the OECD report, which was presented in Berlin on March 14, placing refugees quickly in the labour market and insisting that they learn German were key factors in integration.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, the Paris-based Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) General Secretary Gabriela Ramos described as impressive Germany’s first steps in integrating new arrivals from conflict regions such as Syria.

The next steps were to ensure that refugees with long-term stay perspectives found work and had a footing in German society, she said, referring to 1.2m asylum seekers since 2015.

Labour Minister Andrea Nahles of the Social Democrats (SPD), the coalition partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s government, said: “We can train them and have vacancies [however] we are still only at the beginning.”

She was referring to some 400,000 refugees whose residency status has since been clarified but remain unemployed while attending courses to learn about Germany and its language.

According to DW, the head of Germany’s BDA employers’ federation, Ingo Kramer, cautioned that successful workplace integration remained a “marathon”.

“However, when it works, it’s a chance for the individuals and for our country,” Kramer said, insisting that current protectionist rhetoric was untenable.

He was referring to German industry pleas of recent years for suitably educated trainees, current economic buoyancy, and less young employable German job starters as the population ages demographically.

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