The head of the Federal Employment Agency, Andrea Nahles, calls for a new welcome culture in order to attract more skilled workers from abroad.
"The spirit of immigration is not there in Germany yet," Nahles told the news portal T-Online.
"It's not professionals who come to us, but people.
And that's why we also need the willingness not only to see them as specialists, but to welcome them as people."
According to the former Federal Labor Minister, the high number of emigrants is one of the central problems.
Around 1.1 million people came to Germany last year alone.
“Actually a great number.
We could be really proud of that,” said Nahles.
"Unfortunately, 750,000 people emigrated at the same time." If Germany were to reduce the number of emigrants, it could solve part of the skilled labor problem.
"It's the simplest methodology."
The head of the Federal Employment Agency criticized the “many hurdles” that foreign specialists would face, for example in the care sector: “It starts with the fact that people have to learn German in their home country.
But there aren't German teachers everywhere.” Interested parties would also have to pay for the language courses themselves, which many people couldn't afford.
This means a competitive disadvantage for Germany: "We are competing with English-speaking countries, a language that many learn at school." Nahles named the lengthy process of obtaining visas and the recognition of foreign professional qualifications as further difficulties.