German labour minister to open summit on attracting skilled workers

Hubertus Heil, Germany's Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, speaks during the 3rd "Job-Turbo" Job Market Summit. Kay Nietfeld/dpa
Hubertus Heil, Germany's Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, speaks during the 3rd "Job-Turbo" Job Market Summit. Kay Nietfeld/dpa
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The shortage of skilled workers in Germany has prompted German Labour Minister Hubertus Heil to launch a drive in search of people to fill positions.

"Securing skilled labour is securing prosperity," Heil told dpa ahead of a government conference on skilled labour due to take place in Berlin on Monday.

"There are currently more people in work than ever before - over 46 million. Nevertheless, we need more skilled workers and labour to fully exploit our potential as the third strongest economy," Heil said.

"This means increasing the labour market participation of women, older employees and people with disabilities," he said. He added that there also needed to be more training and further education and the rate of young people without school or vocational qualifications needed to be reduced.

"And it's also about attracting bright minds and volunteers from abroad to Germany," he said.

To realize these goals, he invited over 700 representatives from business, associations and society to the one-day congress.

"On this day, we will publicize the many good ideas for securing skilled workers that already exist today," said Heil, who plans to open the congress on Monday morning together with Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger and Economics Minister Robert Habeck.

Heil said that the aim was to show that Germany's governing coalition was pulling out all stops to recruit skilled labour.

The German Skilled Labour Award will be presented for the first time on Monday evening. The award is open to companies, networks and institutions that have successfully implemented creative and sustainable measures to secure skilled labour. More than 500 applications had been submitted.