The Government of Germany says the country is going to relax its immigration laws in order to attract skilled workers to its labour market.

Europe’s largest economy wants to adopt a Canadian-style points system to bring in workers who speak German or have relevant skills.

With experts saying the country needs an extra 400,000 immigrant workers a year, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the reforms would create “the most modern law on immigration in Europe.”

Seven million skilled workers would be needed by 2035, Labour Minister Hubertus Heil said.

The country’s multi-party ruling coalition wants to introduce an “opportunity card” to be based on a points system that would assess non-EU applicants, taking into account such factors as education and  language skills.

This will make the process for recognising foreign qualifications simple, allowing unskilled workers to fill certain sectors.

But conservative opposition leader Friedrich Merz has criticized the proposal, saying the country  had not exploited the potential it already had, stating that it had more than two million unemployed people.

He added that although Germany enjoys EU-wide freedom of movement, people did not want to move to the country because “the bureaucracy is terrible, the taxes are too high.”

Germany suffers from an ageing workforce and a lack of workers in construction, health and IT sectors.

“We need people who will help us to maintain our prosperity in this country,” Rainer Dulger of the BDA employers’ confederation said.

The proposal will take months to go before the Bundestag – Germany’s parliament.

But Economics Minister Robert Habeck said tackling the issue has become a matter of urgency.

“We have known for years that we will have a demographic problem, but not enough has been done,” he said.


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