From EuroNews in September 2015, on a speech by the chairman of the makers of Mercedes-Benz cars:
The huge influx of refugees and migrants into Germany could turn out to be the foundation for the country’s next economic miracle, according to the head of one of its major carmakers.
Far from being a danger, immigration presented an opportunity, he said – referring to Germany’s postwar boom to which millions of “guest workers” contributed. …
Dieter Zetsche acknowledged that accommodating the numbers was a “herculean task” for Germany, and that not everyone arriving would be a “brilliant engineer, mechanic or entrepreneur”.
But he added that many would be well educated and highly motivated, citing successful examples of migration elsewhere, such as in Silicon Valley….
Last week Zetsche and other German bosses appealed for refugees to be allowed to work.
Like other parts of Europe, Germany faces a looming labour shortage – in its case the population is expected to age and shrink significantly in the coming decades.
But from the Financial Times in June 2017:
Prediction of long-term unemployment as hopes fade of boost to workforce skills
JUNE 22, 2017 by: Guy Chazan in Hamburg
Up to three quarters of Germany’s refugees will still be unemployed in five years’ time, according to a government minister, in a stark admission of the challenges the country faces in integrating its huge migrant population.
Aydan Özoğuz, commissioner for immigration, refugees and integration, told the Financial Times that only a quarter to a third of the newcomers would enter the labour market over the next five years, and “for many others we will need up to 10”.
The admission could prove awkward for Angela Merkel as she seeks a fourth term as chancellor in Bundestag elections this September.
Ms Merkel saw her poll ratings plummet in 2015 when she responded to Europe’s gathering refugee crisis by throwing open Germany’s borders. The migrant issue no longer dominates the country’s nightly news bulletins, but pollsters say the question of how it will absorb the 1.3m migrants who have arrived here since the start of 2015 is still one of voters’ key concerns.
… Initially, the influx of so many working-age, highly-motivated immigrants spurred optimism that they would mitigate Germany’s acute skills shortage and solve the demographic crisis posed by its dangerously low birth rate. Dieter Zetsche, chief executive of carmaker Daimler, said the refugees could lay the foundation for the “next German economic miracle”.
But those hopes have faded as a new realism about the migrants’ lack of qualifications and language skills sinks in. “There has been a shift in perceptions,” Ms Özoğuz told the FT. Many of the first Syrian refugees to arrive in Germany were doctors and engineers, but they were succeeded by “many, many more who lacked skills”.