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.”
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.