German Employment Program For Migrants A Disaster

Refugee Integration Measure (FIM), Germany’s employment program which was launched in 2016 has failed to meet expectations.  The program was created to facilitate the integration of migrants and refugees into the labor market. 

One of the integration measures was to create job opportunities for 100,000 migrants per year. 

Under FIM, while waiting for their application papers to be processed, asylum seekers were required to sign up for jobs in charities, shelters or communities so they could undergo basic training. 

They received 80 cents per hour for up to six months’ work on top of asylum seekers benefits.

However, based on the Federal Employment Agency data gathered by German daily Die Welt, only 32,000 migrants worked in accredited institutions from September 2016 to February 2019. 

In 2017, the number of employed asylum seekers dropped from 1,987 to 693.  In 2019, only 514 people have remained employed.

Due to the poor turnout the German Federal Government removed the annual quota of 100,000 prior to the program’s expiration in 2020.

“Obviously, the response was so bad that it is impossible to continue,” the report noted.

Ekin Deligöz, budget expert of the Greens in the Bundestag, pinpointed the complicated procedures.

“The refugee integration measures were well-intentioned, but badly done,” she said.

“Various decision makers and municipalities create the places, the employment agency handles the program and the Federal Government pays. The administrative burden was apparently too high for many communities.”

The Chairman of the Budget Committee in the Bundestag, Peter Boehringer (AfD), however, highlighted the real problem.

“The German labor market can offer such non-specialists only small sums of money,” said Boehringer.

 “Even the very low wage of the program would not have been paid by the open labor market, because without government subsidies, there is simply no private demand for these services – not even at a tiny 80 cents an hour.

“The fact that not even the government’s own mini-target of 100 000 working asylum seekers has been reached shows that the motivation of many asylum seekers to work for low pay is not very pronounced. Why? Their support is 100 percent guaranteed by the state otherwise – they are not existentially poor even without work,” Boehringer added.

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