Refugee integration

The Long Road To Employment

Picture Source: DPA
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany has enjoyed a period of high employment in recent years but this will end soon if migrants are not integrated into the workforce faster.

  • Facts


    • The German government estimates that unemployment will rise in the coming year, for the first time since 2013.
    • The finance ministry believes the numbers could rise by 110,000 to around 2.9 million, and by 2020 to 3.1 million.
    • A recent survey showed that a quarter of refugees who are looking for work have not even completed high school.
  • Audio


  • Pdf

Last fall, as thousands of refugees poured into Berlin daily, Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche spoke of a possible “economic miracle.”

These newcomers, he said, were young, well-trained and highly motivated. Just the people Germany was looking for.

But now that attitude appears to be hopelessly optimistic. In July, sobering data emerged that Germany’s 30 largest companies had hired a  total of only 54 refugees. Deutsche Post had taken 50, software giant SAP two, and pharmaceutical firm Merck two more.

The 30 largest companies promised 300 training places, but could only fill a tiny proportion. Out of an expected 2,700 internships, just 500 materialized. Again Deutsche Post outperformed everyone.

ThyssenKrupp, BMW and Daimler did their best, but clearly expectations were too high.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.