Germany as a chance for Filipino professionals

DIPLOMATIC POUCH - Gordon Kricke (The Philippine Star) - August 9, 2017 - 4:00pm

The German industry can include itself among the winners of globalization. Europe’s largest economy remains in good health and in 2016 it became the fastest growing G7 country. Moreover, there is every indication that German industry will retain this strong position in the future. After all, German companies supply innovative and competitive products, particularly in the global markets of the future, such as infrastructure, environmental protection, and conservation of resources.  Of all the countries in the EU, Germany currently has one of the lowest levels of unemployment. Jobless rate fell to record low of 3.9 percent in April 2017, a figure that compares very favorably with the world’s other leading economies. At present, there are excellent job opportunities in a number of sectors in Germany. 

Given that qualified labour is essential to the success of the German economy, skilled workers will remain in big demand for years to come. It is only by recruiting skilled workers and well-trained graduates that German companies will be able to maintain their competitive edge. With its current employment prospects, Germany is an attractive destination. In future, certain sectors of the labour market will need to intensify their recruitment of skilled workers. Employment opportunities will continue to increase, particularly in the healthcare, engineering, IT and many other commercial and technical sectors. In other words, the employment prospects for well-qualified immigrants to Germany are excellent, particularly if they have sufficient command of the German language.

The healthcare sector is among the largest and most dynamic sectors in Germany’s economy. Due to the increasing number of elderly people, the need for caregivers in Germany is also increasing. Hospitals and nursing homes are already reporting personnel shortages today. To fill the growing gap of qualified employees in crucial sectors, the German government also pushes for the systematic recruitment of specialized personnel from a range of countries, including the Philippines. Not only hospitals are in a need of skilled nurses. Contrary to the Philippines, the care for the elderly in Germany is not only provided by family members, but fully or partly done by care nurses. Estimates show that Germany needs 150,000 – 200,000 additional health care professionals until 2025.

The migration of Filipino nurses to Germany could not only ease the shortage of nursing staff in Germany, it will also provide Philippine nurses with attractive long-term employment perspectives. Reportedly, 200,000 qualified nurses in the Philippines are searching for a job. Nurses from the Philippines have an excellent reputation as being caring and dedicated, responsible and reliable in their profession. In 2013, the Triple Win Agreement between the German Federal Employment Agency and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) opened up a first path for Filipino nurses to be hired by German employers. As German migration laws have been liberalized significantly since 2013, the demand for hiring nurses from the Philippines increased considerably. That is why the POEA released new guidelines on the recruitment of Filipino nurses to Germany through the private sector in February 2016. 

Filipino nurses who’ve been hired to work in Germany will be enjoying the high standards of German labor laws and social security system provisions, including health insurance, pension insurance scheme and unemployment insurance. In terms of remuneration, Filipino nurses will receive no less favorable treatment than their German colleagues. A crucial precondition for employment are, however, good German language skills which must be acquired beforehand. 

Filipinos in Germany and Germans in the Philippines contribute to the success and progress of their respective host country and are an essential part of the ties that link both countries. 

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(Gordon Kricke is the Ambassador of Germany)

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