Job in Germany without a degree? For professionals with vocational education outside the EU, access to the German labor market is severely limited. The positive list (Positivliste) is decisive. Who has a chance?
For professionals with higher education from non-EU countries, there are no occupational restrictions for employment in Germany. The main thing is that the university that issued the diploma must be recognized in Germany, the qualifications must be confirmed by the German specialized agency, and the Federal Labor Agency must check whether this vacancy can be filled by a specialist from Germany or another EU country. In the case of highly demanded personnel – doctors, engineers, IT specialists, or scientists – you can also get a “Blue Card”.
But for specialists with vocational education, access to the German labor market is significantly limited. The migration law, which will facilitate the employment of representatives of working specialties, is planned to be adopted by 2020. In the meantime, there are only changes in the framework of the PuMa program in Baden-Württemberg or if the profession is indicated in a special list, which is called positive (Positivliste). What is this list?
The labor shortage in Germany: current situation
Every six months, the German Federal Labor Agency analyzes the situation on the labor market in Germany in order to find out in which areas there are not enough specialists and which regions need them the most. The most recent report was compiled in December 2018. Conclusion: there is no widespread general shortage of personnel in Germany, but there are areas where it is obvious.
For example, there is a shortage of specialists in mechatronics and automation, as well as in the energy field. For a long time, vacancies remain in the construction sector, where, due to a good market situation and low-interest rates on loans for construction, personnel demand has also increased. There is a shortage of personnel in the field of automotive engineering and aerospace technology. The shortage of personnel is increasing in the field of caring for the sick and the elderly. Software development, programming and IT consulting is another problematic area.
On the basis of the results obtained, the Federal Agency for Labor draws up a positive list of demanded specialties that require professional education. Only if the profession is included in this list, German employers can employ non-EU specialists.
“At the moment, foreigners can work in Germany in a profession that does not require higher education if they have a vocational education recognized in Germany and if the profession is in demand,” explains Ulrike Beck, an employee of the Federal Labor Agency, in an interview with DW. The positive list will be canceled with the adoption of the new migration law. ” That is, in the future, it will be possible for everyone who has confirmed their diploma to work in Germany with vocational education.
Specialists with vocational education: who is missing
The positive list is updated every six months and exists in two versions – in German and English. It was last updated in March. Electricians, bricklayers, roofers – in total, the list contains about five dozen groups of professions. More details about them – in this photo gallery:
Who is urgently needed in Germany
For those who want to study the list on their own, it is important to pay attention to the marks “2” or “3” opposite each group. They represent the skill level.
A “2” (Fachkraft) is a qualified worker who has completed at least two years of professional training – there are more of them on the positive list. “3” (Spezialist) – a mid-level specialist with a qualification “technician” or “senior technician” obtained in college. As a rule, such personnel bears a great degree of responsibility and exercise control over the performance of work.
How to find a job
But if a specialist sees his profession on this list, this does not mean that he will be immediately employed. First, he will have to confirm that his qualifications correspond to the German one – this condition will remain mandatory after the adoption of the new law. When assessing qualifications, work experience, as explained at the Federal Labor Agency, is considered additionally, but is not a decisive criterion for access to the German market and does not replace obtaining a diploma.
By the way, if the diploma is only partially recognized, then the applicant has the opportunity to obtain a visa, and then a residence permit for up to 18 months to undergo advanced training measures. At this time, the specialist is allowed to carry out ancillary work in his field. “The only condition is that he must find a company that pledges to employ him after the full recognition of the diploma,” stresses Ulrike Beck from the Federal Labor Agency.
Job in Germany without a degree
Unlike foreigners who graduated from a university, specialists with vocational education do not yet have the opportunity to obtain a visa for six months to come to Germany and find work on the spot. But, as the Federal Labor Agency promises, it will appear with the new law.
The address of the service where documents for confirmation should be sent can be found on the Anabin website. To do this, in the Berufe A – Z section, you must select a profession, then the federal state.
For example, at the request of “Metallbauer” (a specialist in working with metal structures) in Baden-Württemberg, the search engine issues eight departments – in Ulm, Constance, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, and other cities. The choice of the city depends on where your potential employer is located.
A specific offer from an employer in Germany is another important requirement. The specialist must find it on his own. And we are not talking about working at the Minijob tariff, that is, for the minimum wage (up to 450 euros per month), but about full-fledged vacancies with earnings that provide a decent living.
A separate issue is knowledge of the German language. The requirements for them are not spelled out in the existing law. The only exceptions are “regulated” professions – they have uniform standards at the federal or state level. These are, in particular, doctors, teachers, lawyers. On the positive list, this category includes, for example, nursing or elderly care professionals – they must speak German at least at the B1 level. “As for the handicrafts, everything depends on the type of activity and the employer. In some cases, if the company uses the language spoken by the applicant, you can work without knowing German,” notes Ulrike Beck.