Economy: Study shows solutions to the shortage of skilled workers - migrants could play this role

According to a study, there is great potential for higher labor force participation among the population with a migrant background in Germany.

Economy: Study shows solutions to the shortage of skilled workers - migrants could play this role

According to a study, there is great potential for higher labor force participation among the population with a migrant background in Germany. Since the approximately 24 million people with foreign roots in Germany are relatively young on average, more workers could be recruited among them, according to a study by the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) in Wiesbaden.

In order to take advantage of these opportunities, the integration of citizens with foreign roots "into society and the labor market, language acquisition and access to early childhood, school and vocational training" must be actively promoted and made sustainable, according to the publication Collaboration with the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Family was established. For example, mothers could be relieved if their children attended more daycare, thereby making their access to the labor market easier.

According to the information, girls and boys with foreign roots under the age of three have been attending kindergarten less often than their peers without a migration background. There is a trend towards higher school qualifications among 15-year-olds. From 2013 to 2022, the proportion of high school students with a migrant background rose from 30 to 38 percent. However, for girls of the same age without foreign roots, this rate was significantly higher in 2022 at 47 percent. Similar differences were found among 15-year-old boys, although at lower levels.

According to the study, among 25-year-olds with a migrant background, there is both an increasing number with a high school diploma and an increasing number of people without a school leaving certificate. In 2022, 46 percent of the men and 59 percent of the women had a high school diploma. Compared to 2013, the proportion of these men had increased by 6 percentage points and that of women by 10 points. However, peers of both genders without foreign roots still had a proportion that was almost ten points higher.

While in 2022, according to BiB, only 3 percent of men and 2 percent of women among 25-year-olds without a migration background had no school-leaving qualifications, the comparative values ​​for people of the same age with foreign roots were significantly higher at 12 percent (men) and 10 percent (women). According to the study, in 2013 this rate was 6 percent in both groups.

Demographic change is “already presenting major challenges” to the labor market, explained BIB director Katharina Spieß on Wednesday in Wiesbaden. In order to counteract this, it is necessary to “make the best possible use of the diverse potential of people with a migration background”.

In comparison, citizens of foreign origin are also less likely to be employed overall. Of the 15 to 64 year olds with a migrant background, 75 percent of men and 62 percent of women worked in 2022. For men and women of the same age range without this background, the figures were eight and 17 percentage points more, respectively.

The employment participation of people with a migrant background increased by around three percentage points between 2013 and 2022. Nevertheless, men and women without a migration background are still more likely to be employed. For men aged 15 to under 65 it is eight percentage points more, and for women it is even 17 points more.

According to the analysis, there are clear differences between women and men when it comes to full-time employment - regardless of migration background. In 2022, around 88 percent of employed men and only 52 percent of employed women with a migrant background worked full-time. Among people without a migration background, 90 percent of men and 52 percent of women were.

The data basis for the study is the microcensus. According to the definition of the Federal Statistical Office, someone has a migration background if they or at least one parent was not born with German citizenship. The BIB explained that expanding early childhood education would promote both language acquisition and integration. Greater use of institutional care services could relieve the burden on mothers in particular and make it easier for them to access the labor market, it said. The publication “Rediscovering the population with a migrant background” was created in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Family.

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