Experts are warning that Germany faces a shortage of skilled labor that could become an increasingly serious threat to its economy in years to come. Companies in certain industrial sectors are already struggling to fill vacant positions. Demographic developments will only make that worse, as the German population ages and the labor force shrinks. But current immigration law makes it hard for German companies to employ foreign specialists.
Earlier this year, a consortium of German foundations and charities set up a cross-party commission to look at the problem. The commission is headed by Armin Laschet, former state integration minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, and former German Defense Minister Peter Struck. It also includes industry and union representatives, as well as politicians from Germany's main parties. The body will present its findings to the heads of the party groups in the German parliament, the Bundestag, on Wednesday.