news aktuell GmbH

Bertelsmann Stiftung: Few German businesses recruiting staff abroad, despite skills shortage


Staff bottlenecks in the German economy are on the increase. Staff with vocational training in particular are desperately being sought. Nevertheless, fewer than 20 per cent of companies are employing skilled personnel from abroad. The obstacles to immigration from non-EU countries are still too high.

(Gütersloh, Germany) The German economy’s skills shortage is growing by the day. At 73 per cent, almost three quarters of company decision-takers report skills bottlenecks in their companies. This was the outcome of a representative Civey survey for the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s new Skills Migration Monitor. Demand for staff with vocational training in particular is continuing to rise, with 58 per cent of the companies surveyed reporting a need, while by contrast only 30 per cent are looking for graduate staff. The skills lack is evident especially in the sectors health and elderly care, construction and craft, and industry and logistics, as well as in tourism. Moreover, larger companies are more frequently affected by bottlenecks than small businesses. “Low birth rates in the past are now catching up with us. Germany cannot maintain its prosperity without immigration,” says Susanne Schultz, migration policy expert at Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Despite the gaping staff shortage, just 17 per cent, or not even a fifth, of businesses report seeking new staff abroad. Even though at the same time, fewer than a fifth of them believe that sufficient staff are available in Germany. The obstacles to recruiting skilled staff abroad are evidently too high, as in the past. Companies point in particular to language barriers, legal obstacles and bureaucratic hurdles, as well as difficulties in assessing foreign qualifications as the main problems.

Reluctance on the part of business is reflected in the immigration figures. While more skilled people entered Germany from non-EU countries in 2021 than immediately after the start of the pandemic, at almost 25,000 their number nevertheless remained well below the pre-Covid level of 40,000. Immigration from other EU countries simultaneously declined in 2021. This means that countries outside Europe are even more significant for the German labour market. The fact that the demand for skilled personnel is continuing to rise without interruption – despite economic stresses caused by the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and inflation – can be attributed primarily to demographic change.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung is recommending further changes to the Skilled Immigration Act. “The German government’s current proposals on considering professional experience as a criterion, on introducing an ‘Opportunity Card’ and on digitising visa procedures are steps in the right direction,” Susanne Schultz says. Germany must in addition become more attractive as a country of immigration. A welcoming attitude, measures to counter discrimination and improved long-term prospects would contribute to this. The potential from skilled female personnel from abroad in particular has scarcely been tapped.

About the Bertelsmann Stiftung: Moving people. Shaping the future.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung is committed to ensuring that everyone can participate in society – whether politically, economically or culturally. Our main themes: education, democracy, Europe, health, values and the economy. In this, we place people at the focus, as it is people who are able to move, change and improve the world. To this end, we make use of knowledge, train competencies and devise solutions. The Bertelsmann Stiftung was set up by Reinhard Mohn as a non-profit organization in 1977.

For further information:


About news aktuell GmbH

news aktuell GmbH
news aktuell GmbH
Mittelweg 144
20148 Hamburg

+49 (0)40 4113-32589

As wholly owned subsidiary of dpa, news aktuell provides business and organizations with effective access to media and consumers. Via the smart tools ots and zimpel, PR content accesses all media formats, including classical print, high click-rate online portals and social networks. In addition, news aktuell publishes all its customers’ PR content on, one of the PR portals with the greatest reach in Germany. By this means, all the relevant multipliers are reached globally, from editors, via digital influencers right up to specialist bloggers and interested consumers. news aktuell has been on the market since 1989. The company, with a staff complement of more than 135, has its headquarters in Hamburg. Other offices are in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt und Munich.

Subscribe to releases from news aktuell GmbH

Subscribe to all the latest releases from news aktuell GmbH by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Latest releases from news aktuell GmbH

Newly established company to promote Mainz as hub for life science and biotechnology now operational and supporting the city of Mainz3.2.2023 11:43:02 CET | Press release

“biomindz Standortentwicklungsgesellschaft Mainz GmbH i.G.” owned by the City of Mainz as a 100% subsidiary of city’s holding company “Zentrale Beteiligungsgesellschaft der Stadt Mainz mbH” (ZBM) Established with goal of supporting Mainz as the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate in its transformation into an internationally recognised hub for biotechnology ZBM's project team transferred to the new company, with Felix Wälder as Managing Director Mainz to be positioned and marketed on international level under "biomindz - Life Science Hub Mainz" brand Website goes live at, providing extensive information and points of contact (Mainz, Germany): (skh) At the beginning of february the 'biomindz Standortentwicklungsgesellschaft Mainz mbH i.G.' (biomindz GmbH i.G.) was founded. The formal establishment of the company therefore lays the groundwork for biomindz GmbH i.G. to commence its activities. As a wholly owned subsidiary of "Zentrale Beteiligungsgesellschaft der Stadt Mainz

VACUUMSCHMELZE (VAC) Announces Binding Supply Agreement with General Motors (GM) to Support EV Growth30.1.2023 10:51:58 CET | Pressemelding

(Hanau, Germany): VAC announced a binding long-term supply agreement with GM for North America permanent magnet production – another major step forward to create a strong, sustainable and scalable supply chain for electric vehicles. As part of the agreement, VAC will build a facility in North America to manufacture permanent magnets for electric motors used in a broad portfolio of EVs. The new facility will use locally sourced raw materials. The binding agreement finalizes a Memorandum of Understanding VAC and GM announced in December 2021. With 100 years of experience, VAC is a leading global developer and producer of advanced magnetic solutions. VAC is the largest producer of rare-earth NdFeB permanent magnets in the Western Hemisphere. “The demand for rare earth permanent magnets and supporting technologies is intensifying at an unprecedented rate as the world shifts to sustainable clean energy. VAC is extremely excited to be partnering with General Motors to take this important ste

WEF 2023: ProjectTogether receives the Schwab Foundation Collective Social Innovation Award recognizing the power of collaborative action19.1.2023 09:13:52 CET | Pressemelding

The non-profit organization ProjectTogether received the Schwab Foundation’s Collective Social Innovation Award 2023 at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. As the first award winner in this category, the Schwab Foundation recognizes ProjectTogether for its new approach to orchestrate collaborative action between bottom-up innovators and top-down institutions to create impact. At the award ceremony, founder Philipp von der Wippel explained the vision of a pan-European approach to collective action—across all sectors and political levels—to tackle ongoing and looming societal challenges.

In our pressroom you can read all our latest releases, find our press contacts, images, documents and other relevant information about us.

Visit our pressroom