Demographic change has long since arrived on the German labor market. The head of the Federal Employment Agency, Andrea Nahles, sees more room for negotiation for young workers. But it also points to limitations.
This article first appeared on RTL.de.
The German labor market is facing problems: Older people are retiring, far too few younger people are moving up. Germany has “a massive demographic problem,” explains the head of the Federal Employment Agency, Andrea Nahles, in the “Augsburger Allgemeine” newspaper. Conversely, the shortage of skilled workers also means for young people: They have significantly more leeway in negotiating the working conditions of their jobs. Nahles supports this, but according to Nahles the young employees shouldn’t make it too easy for themselves.
“Issues of work-life balance” must be renegotiated
According to the head of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), Andrea Nahles, the shortage of skilled workers will hit German companies harder than international competitors. “The labor market is changing more in Germany than in other countries because we have a massive demographic problem,” Nahles told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper. The German labor market is changing from an employer to an employee labor market.
This is why there are also expectations among young people: “When they are hired, many younger people make the option of working from home a condition.” Employers are therefore well advised to listen to their companies if they ask their employees about their ideas and wishes.
But wishes also have their limits: Nahles is sometimes irritated by the fact that young people sometimes make too many demands in job interviews. For example, not working a single hour of overtime or being allowed to take the dog to the office.
“Issues of work-life balance need to be renegotiated, just as my generation renegotiated the distribution of work between women and men in families,” Nahles said. “Negotiating also means addressed to the younger generation: work is not a pony farm.”
Andrea Nahles: “We are immigration beginners”
The many obstacles to immigration are also a problem for the German economy: “We are newcomers to immigration,” said Nahles. Germany is often still too complicated, for example when it comes to the recognition of foreign professional qualifications. The German language is also an obstacle for many immigrants.
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Nahles also called on companies to give young people more opportunities for training and work, even if the starting conditions were difficult. “My appeal to employers is: give less than ideal applicants a chance,” she said, referring to the BA’s relevant funding programs.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.