German Defense officials are now open to recruiting skilled workers from other EU countries in order to fill the manpower shortage in the armed forces.
To address the chronic shortage of skilled workers, the government passed the skilled labor immigration law- “Fachkräftezuwanderungsgesetz”, which allows employers to hire skilled workers from outside the EU easily.
The army general inspector, Berhard Zorn said in an interview the armed forces had no better option than to look beyond Germany for new recruits.
“We’re talking here about doctors or IT specialists,” Zorn told the Funke newspaper group, calling the idea to search for such workers beyond Germany “an option” among several being considered as the army “pushes hard for a suitable new generation”.
Zorn said that the armed forces should look elsewhere, in order to address the current shortage of general skilled workers in the army.
German military are already in consultations with EU partners as it aims to increase its manpower by 21,000 in the next seven years.
However, it has been reported that proposal received lukewarm response from Poland and Czech Republic. Warsaw and Prague expressed fears on losing key military personnel over the lure of higher pay in Germany.
In a separate interview with the Rheinische Post, the defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen, said the army was on track to filling its recruitment quotas.
In the past two years the number of troops increased by 6,500 and she stated that this indicates that the target to have 203,000 military troops by 2025 will be met.
She added that she was encouraged by the fact that the military’s recruitment campaign to convince women to join worked well because one in three applicants had been a woman this year and that currently, 12% of the army are women.
The defense minister also said the target size of the German military would “depend on the security situation and the resulting tasks for the troops”.