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Foreign tech workers in Germany get a break on language requirements



Stefan Stein, the President of Gisma University of Applied Sciences, emphasized that the emphasis on German language proficiency for employment in the IT sector needs to evolve. He articulated this viewpoint while visiting Gisma University of Applied Sciences in Germany earlier this week.

This perspective resonates with Germany’s updated regulations, as reported by ThePressNG, which now offer more flexible routes for IT professionals with reduced emphasis on German language proficiency and recognition of academic credentials.

This shift in approach comes in response to suggestions from various stakeholders that expanding English language courses could not only attract more international students but also address labor shortages in the IT sector.

Making Germany attract more international workers.

Stein further asserted that in today’s globally interconnected world, dismissing highly qualified professionals based solely on their English-speaking proficiency is outdated.

He pointed out that within the German start-up ecosystem, teams often operate internationally, relying on English as the primary language, with proficiency in German viewed as an advantageous skill.

He also noted that this stance contradicts the reality in fields such as artificial intelligence, software engineering, and data science, where German language skills are not essential for delivering exceptional work.

Additionally, Stein acknowledged survey findings indicating that many foreign professionals encounter difficulties in settling and forming social connections within Germany.

To collectively address the skill shortage, he emphasized society must become more international. He highlighted the significance of retaining the talented professionals trained within Germany and preventing their departure to other countries.

  • “We must become more international as a society to tackle the skill shortage collectively. We simply can’t afford to lose the talented professionals we train in Germany to other countries,” he concluded.

Germany’s skilled immigration Act

Germany’s new immigration legislation called the Skilled Immigration Act implemented in June 2023, underwent substantial revisions to entice and retain international talent in response to the persistent demand for skilled labor.

This included a revision of the reduction of the salary threshold and the relaxation of prerequisites on work experience for the IT profession.

As a result, a more extensive cohort of IT experts is now eligible to meet the requirements for immigration.

Additionally, the removal of language requirements underscores the universally interconnected nature of the IT field.

It eliminates potential linguistic barriers that could have discouraged skilled individuals, particularly those not well-versed in the German language, from considering immigration.

Olaf Scholz, Germany’s Chancellor emphasized that this contemporary immigration legislation establishes Germany at the forefront of global competitiveness.

He stated that the newly implemented points-based migration system represents yet another step towards the modernization of the nation, paving the way for future economic expansion and liberating the country from decades of stagnation.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz commented:

  • “It was inspiring to see how many students from around the world come to Germany and wish to work here afterward. We need these young and well-qualified men and women for the successful economic development of our country.”

Stefan Stein however noted that traditional German companies are yet to acknowledge employing foreign workers. He said,

  • “On the other hand, traditional German companies, from SMEs to established conglomerates, are yet to acknowledge that labor migration is the only sustainable way to close the skill gap, especially when German skills are not necessary to deliver exceptional work in areas like AI, software engineering, and data science”.

However, he believes the revised legislation will eventually be adopted by more German companies which will increase the employment of more foreign skilled workers.