According to the head of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), Andrea Nahles, the shortage of skilled workers will hit German companies harder than international competitors. “The labor market is changing more in Germany than in other countries because we have a massive demographic problem,” Nahles told the Augsburger Allgemeine.

The German labor market is changing from an employer to an employee labor market. “Work-life balance issues need to be renegotiated, just as my generation renegotiated the distribution of work between women and men in families,” Nahles said. “Negotiating also means addressed to the younger generation: work is not a pony farm.”

The many obstacles to immigration are also a problem for the German economy: “We are newcomers to immigration,” said Nahles. Germany is often still too complicated, for example when it comes to the recognition of foreign professional qualifications. The German language is also an obstacle for many immigrants.

Nahles also called on companies to give young people more opportunities for training and work, even if the starting conditions were difficult. “My appeal to employers is: give less than ideal applicants a chance,” she said, referring to the BA’s relevant funding programs.