CZ/SK verze

New skilled workers: Deutsche Bahn welcomes first trainees from Tunisia

New skilled workers: Deutsche Bahn welcomes first trainees from Tunisia
photo: Dominic Dupont / DB AG/New skilled workers: Deutsche Bahn welcomes first trainees from Tunisia
12 / 10 / 2022

The immigration of skilled workers and trainees from developing countries can be part of the solution to the dramatic shortage of skilled workers in Germany. It will, therefore, also be part of the skilled labor strategy that the Federal Government intends to adopt this week. Recruiting staff in North Africa is a pilot project launched by DB, the Development Ministry, and the Federal Employment Agency.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is testing how labor migration can be organized in such a way that migrants, countries of origin, and the German economy all benefit in equal measure. This training year, for the first time, Deutsche Bahn is employing two trainees from Tunisia who came to Germany as part of the project. Development Minister Svenja Schulze and DB Chief Human Resources Officer Martin Seiler welcomed the two today together with the Chairwoman of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) Andrea Nahles and BA Board Member Vanessa Ahuja at a DB workshop in Berlin. The Chair of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), Yasmin Fahimi, and the envoy of the Tunisian Embassy, Chiheb Chaouch, also attended the meeting.

Development Minister Svenja Schulze: "The shortage of skilled workers is already so dramatic that it threatens economic strength and prosperity in Germany. At the same time, many developing countries, especially in Africa, are finding it difficult to create enough jobs for their young, growing populations. So we can help each other so that everyone benefits: the migrants a good job, the countries of origin training and knowledge transfer, and we in Germany urgently needed skilled workers. The pilot project with Tunisia and Deutsche Bahn is doing valuable pioneering work that will help us develop even greater solutions in the future. Because even if labor migration can only be one of many elements of our new skilled labor strategy, we cannot do without it. A modern immigration policy starts by thinking about migration from developing countries not first in terms of problems, but also in terms of solutions."

Martin Seiler, Chief Human Resources Officer of Deutsche Bahn: "We are continuing to recruit at an absolute record level, with 24,000 new employees this year alone to strengthen the railways and drive forward the mobility revolution. However, as the labor market is getting tighter and tighter, we are breaking new ground in personnel recruitment, and also crossing borders. In the future, foreign specialists will become increasingly important for us and other companies in the country. I am therefore all the more pleased that the Ministry of Development and the Employment Agency is helping to place well-skilled workers and bring them to Germany. I have the utmost respect for our Tunisian trainees, who came here on a one-way ticket in their mid-twenties. We will do everything we can to integrate and qualify them in the best possible way."

Andrea Nahles, Chairwoman of the Federal Employment Agency: "Germany needs skilled workers from abroad to keep the labor market functioning. Without immigration, our labor force potential would fall by seven million people by 2035. Only with annual net immigration of 400,000 people will the level remain constant. It is important to simplify skilled immigration and overcome bureaucratic hurdles to attract skilled workers from other countries to our labor market."

Vanessa Ahuja, Executive Board Member for Services and International Affairs, adds: "We are also committed to fair migration so that we do not poach skilled workers from home countries where they are urgently needed. The THAMM project is a good example of this. The immigration of skilled workers is a task for society as a whole and unfolds its effect above all when the actors involved in the network pull together."

While the German economy suffers from a dramatic shortage of skilled workers in the face of an aging population, many developing countries with young societies have a great interest in labor migration that gives their population access to knowledge and international education. For labor migration to be profitable for all sides, a strong alliance is needed between politics and business in Germany and the countries of origin from which skilled workers and trainees come.

The Federal Government's new skilled labor strategy should lay the foundation for this and also bear a development-oriented signature, meaning that the countries of origin also benefit from regular labor migration - for example, through knowledge transfer and training. Fair recruitment and placement with German employers also prevent precarious working conditions and exploitation. At the same time, it ensures that the recruitment of skilled workers and trainees does not lead to brain drain in the countries of origin.

One example of this approach is the pilot project of the European Union (EU) and the Ministry of Development on labor migration and mobility between North Africa and Europe ("THAMM"), in which DB, among others, is participating: It advises and trains the employment agencies in Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt and links them with the employment agencies in Belgium, France, and Germany.

It puts the employment agencies in a better position to recognize the needs of their own labor markets and to bring skilled workers with a desire to migrate together with European companies in a way that is a perfect fit. German companies can thus fill (teaching) positions for which no suitable candidates could be found on the German labor market. Skilled workers with migration aspirations are offered attractive and secure career prospects in Europe.

In the THAMM project, 234 trainees and 44 skilled workers from Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt have so far been placed in companies in Germany, including the hotel and catering, electrical, metalworking, plumbing, heating, and air conditioning, logistics, bakery, construction, and IT sectors. They had previously completed courses in which they acquired German language skills and were prepared for German working culture and life in Germany.

At DB, two skilled workers have started work through "THAMM" so far, as well as the two apprentices who began their training as electronics technicians for operating technology in September. DB wants to expand the cooperation in the coming year and recruit more skilled workers from Tunisia or Egypt through the project.

Source: Deutsche Bahn Press Releases