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Government acts to recognise international qualifications

Parliament has approved legislation that extends recognition of international qualifications by German businesses and academia.

The legislation, passed on 4 November, updates over 60 laws and guidelines covering non-German qualifications, and is intended to make it easier for international professionals to find work in Germany.

Annette Schavan, the science minister, said the revisions would support German businesses and higher education institutions in their hunt for international talent.

“This law is a milestone,” said Schavan. “It shows that we respect the achievements of people with international qualifications, and that we need and value their professional skills in Germany.”

Germany suffers from a serious shortage of professional workers, especially in science, engineering and medicine. The new legislation covers over 350 professional qualifications, which will now be treated on an equal rank with their German counterparts.

The government said it would also launch a hotline for international professionals wanting to work in Germany and for businesses interested in hiring internationals. The hotline would provide information and help applicants get their qualifications officially accepted.

Previous legislation on German equivalents of international qualifications dates back to 1935, when opinions on the value of international qualifications were shaped by national-socialist ideas of German-ness, the government said.

“I am so glad this change has come through, because now international workers can much better use their qualifications,” said Schavan. “Now it is very important that the Länder change local legislation quickly to adapt to the new law.”