Ger­many opens doors for Chi­nese work­ers

“Al­though ma­jor Ger­man corpo- ra­tions hold siz­able mar­ket shares in the au­to­mo­biles, beer and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals sec­tors, some prob­lems ap­pear to loom ahead on the hori­zon.”

The Pak Banker - - Front Page - Tom Mcgre­gor

DE­SPITE the sov­er­eign debt cri­sis in Europe, Ger­many has en­joyed sta­ble eco­nomic growth. The na­tion can lay claim to a sur­plus of ex­ports in trade, strong and sta­ble in­fra­struc­ture and a mag­net for for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments. Al­though ma­jor Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions hold siz­able mar­ket shares in the au­to­mo­biles, beer and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals sec­tors, some prob­lems ap­pear to loom ahead on the hori­zon.

"Ger­many has a short­age of health­care work­ers as it faces a se­vere ag­ing pop­u­la­tion," as re­ported by the China Daily. "Ac­cord­ing to a re­port from its Fed­eral Sta­tis­tics Of­fice, Ger­many's pop­u­la­tion in­creased to more than 81.8 mil­lion at the end of 2011, of which 21 per­cent was older than 65."

It added, "the per­cent­age of its el­derly pop­u­la­tion is es­ti­mated to reach 29 per­cent by 2030. The health ex­pen­di­ture per capita amounts to ap­prox­i­mately 3,510 eu­ros ($4,600) per year." Ger­many's la­bor mar­ket is ag­ing so it's in need of a stronger and more youth­ful work­force. A sud­den rise in birthrates would not pos­i­tively im­pact age de­mo­graph­ics un­til a few years later. To sus­tain its eco­nomic growth in the near fu­ture, Ger­many must open its doors to more for­eign em­ploy­ees, in­clud­ing Chi­nese work­ers, who have earned a rep­u­ta­tion for in­dus­tri­ous­ness and re­li­a­bil­ity.

Maybe it's time for some Chi­nese to learn more Ger­man con­sid­er­ing that the coun­try has just launched a new jobs pro­gram to hire more Chi­nese health­care work­ers. The news gets bet­ter: "Ger­man of­fi­cials say Chi­nese and Ger­man pro­fes­sion­als will be paid equally," ac­cord­ing to the China Daily. Many de­vel­oped coun- tries in the West of­fer job visas for for­eign work­ers, but usu­ally un­der con­di­tions that re­quire for­eign work­ers to ac­cept com­par­a­tively lower wages. Ger­man health­care em­ploy­ers are will­ing to pay high salaries for Chi­nese em­ploy­ees since the coun­try must re­solve its se­ri­ous la­bor short­ages right now. The eco­nomic ne­ces­sity for Ger­many to bal­ance its la­bor mar­ket poses as a grand op­por­tu­nity for Chi­nese health­care work­ers who have al­ready re­ceived proper med­i­cal train­ing and cre­den­tials.

Yes, China's econ­omy has risen sig­nif­i­cantly in re­cent years, but many Chi­nese doc­tors and nurses must work un­der in­sur­mount­able stress while earn­ing in­comes far be­low their coun­ter­parts in Ger­many. Hence, the Ger­man pledge to pro­vide equal pay for Chi­nese work­ers would spark a sharp rise of visa ap­pli­ca­tions to the coun­try. How­ever, Ger­many has taken a cau­tious ap­proach. "Ger­man and Chi­nese la­bor agen­cies have only agreed to hire 150 Chi­nese health­care work­ers next year."

That num­ber may seem in­signif­i­cant, but not all hope is lost for Chi­nese health­care work­ers search­ing for jobs in Ger­many. Baebe Raebe, press of­fi­cer of the Fed­eral Em­ploy­ment Agency, the largest ser­vice provider in the Ger­man la­bor mar­ket, said, "al­though the pi­lot project is quite lim­ited in the num­ber of health­care work­ers that can be re­cruited, it is a be­gin­ning." Raebe hinted that if the project proves suc­cess­ful than Ger­many could ex­pand its pro­gram, but she re­mains firm on one ma­jor re­quire­ment.

"Who­ever is com­ing to work here will have to learn Ger­man be­cause those health­care providers have to be able to talk to the pa­tients," Raebe said.

That sounds rea­son­able, but only if a Chi­nese per­son is guar­an­teed a job be­fore­hand. How un­for­tu­nate it would be for thou­sands upon thou­sands of Chi­nese health­care pro­fes­sion­als to learn Ger­man but to no avail in find­ing high-pay­ing jobs later on. Nev­er­the­less, Ger­many and China's economies continue to go ex­pand. The two coun­tries have se­cured bet­ter co­op­er­a­tion, while many Ger­mans hold a fa­vor­able view of the Asian coun­try.

A Ger­man think tank, the Ber­tels­mann Foun­da­tion, had con­ducted a poll and dis­closed that a ma­jor­ity of Ger­man holds pos­i­tive views on the eco­nomic as­cen­dancy of China as an "op­por­tu­nity" for the coun­try.

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