Geriatric nurses, nurses, midwives: Germany urgently seeks skilled workers worldwide

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Hamburg – The demand for caregivers in Germany has risen almost 50% since 2015([i]). Currently there is a shortage of 35,000 workers among geriatric and other nursing staff alone. While there is a similar lack of midwives too, where the number of vacancies has doubled since 2017([ii]). By 2030, the shortage of workers in the healthcare sector will increase to just under one million people – in addition to 165,000 physicians, there will be a shortage of 800,000 non-medical healthcare professionals ([iii]). Without an influx of immigrants in these professions, the health and nursing sectors will face insurmountable problems.  

Germany in running out of nurses. It takes six months to fill a vacancy in geriatric nursing today. And there is no improvement in sight – due to the demographic development there are likely to be more and more people in Germany in need of care, while at the same time there will be a shrinking number of caregivers. This trend can not only be seem among caregivers and geriatric nurses, but midwives and obstetric nurses are also in scarce supply. The international parent initiative, “Mother Hood” issued a travel warning for pregnant women in 2017. In large areas of Germany, a safe birth cannot be guaranteed due to closed delivery rooms and a shortage of midwives([iv]). 

Only a strong influx of immigrants in these professions can solve this problem. So how do people from other countries find suitable jobs in Germany? How can qualified professionals be brought together with attractive employers? How does one deal with regulations regarding the recognition of qualifications and the issuing of residence permits? Which requirements must be fulfilled to work in Germany?  

Knowledge of German up to B level 

B2 level in German is required for professions in the healthcare and nursing sectors. However, one can also apply with A2 level. With appropriate language courses and support from future employers, language skills can be developed in Germany and raised to the necessary B2 level. 

German employers contact professional staff 

For people from other countries looking for jobs in Germany can be time-consuming. Alternatively, professional staff from all over the world can register on the employment platform and create their own personal profile. German employers can then search the platform for new staff and contact them. Applicants do not incur any placement costs. Upon request, Employland will take care of the legal formalities such as residence permits or the obtaining of recognition of the qualifications required for the practice of medical professions. Costs for the legal services are usually borne by the company that successfully employs a worker. 

Federal Government plans easier access to the German labour market 

The lack of professional staff not only affects the healthcare and nursing sectors, but it is also clearly noticeable in several other sectors as well. To counter this trend, the German government plans to introduce a law for skilled immigrant workers making it easier for them to access the German labour market. 

Without the suitable immigrants, there will be a shortage of almost five million skilled workers in Germany by 2030 leading to a revenue loss of more than 500 billion Euros, according to forecasts by Korn Ferry consultants([v]). In this context, the law for skilled immigrant workers is long overdue. While good access conditions for the healthcare and nursing sectors are in place today, without support it is still extremely difficult for immigrants to find a way into the German labour market.  








Sabine Drechsel

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Employland - Professionals and skilled workers for Germany