German companies see refugees mainly as unskilled labour
German companies see the greatest employment potential for refugees as unskilled workers, according to a survey by the Munich-based Ifo Institute.
“About 41% of firms see significant potential for refugees to be recruited in their own branch as unskilled workers. But 59% rate their chances as narrow”, said Gabriel Felbermayr, one of the study’s authors.
Some 37% believe that there is a potential for recruiting refugees as trainees, as opposed to 63% that do not; 22% of firms can imagine recruiting refugees in their branch as skilled workers, versus 78% that cannot. Only 3% of companies see leadership potential in the refugees, versus 97% that does not.
Almost 92% of survey participants cited a lack of language skills as a barrier to employment, 71% cited a lack of qualifications, while 59% mentioned labour law requirements and 32% reported the minimum wage as a constraint.
“The survey finding regarding the minimum wage isn’t really surprising, since the question of adequate remuneration only arises for those jobs in which language, skills and bureaucracy barriers can be overcome,” explained Felbermayr. The minimum wage in particular is considered a recruitment barrier in construction in eastern Germany (55%) and in the distribution sector (62%).
Over 3,000 companies from manufacturing (49%), construction (25%) and distribution (26%) participated in the survey. 85% are located in western Germany and 15% in eastern Germany.