Promoting a comprehensive welcoming culture: joint responsibility of business, politics and society

BDA AGENDA 03/2024 | TOPIC OF THE WEEK | February 08, 2024

The OECD study on the integration of skilled workers emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive welcoming culture for foreign skilled workers and employees. Companies make an important contribution, but need more support from politicians. In order to maintain Germany as an attractive location for skilled workers, our support structures must be adapted and modernized. Only through cooperation between politics, companies and society can we create a successful welcoming culture.

The recently published OECD study "Who wants to come to Germany? Findings from a third survey of foreign skilled workers" on the integration of skilled workers in Germany once again emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive welcoming culture in our society and in companies. Foreign skilled workers and employees increasingly want support in learning the language, advice on residence law issues and finding accommodation and a job. Lengthy procedures, bureaucracy and discrimination remain the main reasons for emigration. We must tackle these hurdles.

The fact that the desire and motivation to come to Germany is still strong abroad is a good starting point. However, one thing is clear: we must remain attractive in the long term. This includes making our migration administration faster, more digital and more welcoming, especially in the ongoing implementation of the new regulations in the new Skilled Immigration Act. Equally important is effective protection against discrimination. Raising awareness, education and a clear stance on the part of managers are the right way to achieve this. The federal government, together with the federal states and local authorities, must ensure that the framework conditions for successful integration are created. As an employer, we stand ready to contribute to this goal and to our responsibility to society as a whole.

Companies are already making an important contribution and showing great commitment, but cannot, for example, influence the complexity of the administrative procedures. As the BDA, we provide support by providing handouts that simplify the complex process of employing foreign skilled workers and workers, for example through our immigration brochure and our FAQs on the practical implementation of the law and the ordinance on the further development of skilled worker immigration. Nevertheless, the experiences of foreign skilled workers and workers as well as the perceptions of those interested in immigration make it clear that the existing support structures need to be geared even more towards the needs of the target group and better interlinked.

In the fight against skills and labor shortages, it is also important to reduce the emigration of foreign workers and skilled workers. A comprehensive welcoming culture is therefore not only a social obligation, but also an economic necessity. This requires cooperation between business, politics and society.

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