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The German government steps up efforts to get Ukrainians and other refugees employed

German Labor Minister Hubertus Heil

German Labor Minister Hubertus Heil

Germany has accepted more than 1 million Ukrainians since last year’s full-scale Russian invasion, in addition to large numbers of refugees and migrants from other countries. Unlike others who arrive, Ukrainians immediately receive residency status in Germany and the 26 other EU countries.

The German Labor Minister, Hubertus Heil, said on October 18 that 132,000 Ukrainians have already found jobs.

Quote"This is a success, but it's far from sufficient," he said. "It is time now to enter a new phase."

The government tries to tackle the problem of a lack of qualified workers and is concerned about the high level of migration.

Counting Ukrainians and others who have recently completed or will soon complete integration courses, which include language learning, there is a potential for the labor market of about 400,000 people who are currently receiving benefits and already speak German, the minister said.

The campaign to be launched by the government involves having job centers put more effort into getting refugees into work. In particular, officials will meet with refugees every six weeks at most to help them seek suitable jobs and address potential obstacles.

Quote"We also expect refugees and migrants to make efforts, and offers must be accepted," Heil said, noting that jobless benefits can be reduced if people refuse to take work. He said he also wants to get businesses involved and plans a meeting with employers' organizations and others on November 20.

The government aims to speed up the recognition of foreign job qualifications. It is appointing a senior official at the Federal Labor Agency to oversee the effort as a "special envoy" for integrating refugees into the labor market.

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