Status: 20.11.2023, 18:34 PM
The new head of the UN Organization for Migration (IOM), Amy Pope, visits Berlin. © Christiane Oelrich/dpa
Companies everywhere are desperately looking for workers. The new head of the UN Organization for Migration (IOM) has a practical proposal ahead of her visit to Berlin that is explosive.
Geneva - Migrants and rejected asylum seekers who have also arrived irregularly in Germany could help to eliminate the labour shortage, says the new head of the UN Organization for Migration (IOM), Amy Pope. It is easier for employers to hire people who are already in the country, she told the German Press Agency before her first visit to Berlin.
"We're hearing from the private sector that it's easier to employ someone who's already in the country," Pope said. "From a practical point of view, there are good reasons to do this." However, she accepts that governments do not want to reward migrants who have entered the country irregularly with jobs. This is a political question.
"But there is no clear evidence that irregular migrants who then get work permits serve as a magnet for others," Pope said. The IOM would be ready in any case: for the return of rejected asylum seekers and expelled migrants, for example, as well as in the search for suitable workers abroad.
Praise for German migration policy
Pope praised Germany's migration policy as exemplary. She cited agreements such as the one with India, in which Germany determines the need for skilled workers and India is looking for the necessary candidates. "That's the best practice," she said. However, this is not only necessary for skilled workers. "Engineers, health workers, it's relatively easy," Pope said. "But there is also a shortage of workers in construction, agriculture, care for the elderly. IOM can help meet the demand." If necessary, the organisation offers training and further education as well as language courses and courses on the culture of the destination country in sending countries.
"The labor shortage is real, neither the use of artificial intelligence nor a sudden increase in the birth rate could change that in the medium term," Pope said. All studies also show that economies benefit from migration in the long term, that it boosts innovation and that wealth grows. Private companies need to talk much louder about success stories with migrants they've integrated into their staff, Pope said. In Germany, she also wants to encourage German companies to do so. In this way, fears in the population could be countered.
"The personnel of the future"
Pope is also soliciting private investment in "the workforce of the future," as she puts it. "We can help companies invest in training programs in other countries so that they can learn the skills that companies will need in two or three years."
In Berlin, Pope will meet, among others, Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze, Minister of State for Migration, Refugees and Integration, Reem Alabali-Radovan, and State Secretary in the Ministry of the Interior, Bernd Krösser. Among other things, she wants to talk about the financing of IOM programmes. Germany is one of the IOM's most important donor countries. Dpa