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About the Day of Nursing

The number of foreign-born nurses continues to rise
09 May 2018 | Press Release No. 15
  • The quality of nursing, as well as the ratio of foreign-born nurses, continues to rise
  • Trained nurses in the elderly- and healthcare-settings are limited
  • The BA (German Federal Employment Agency) promotes the unemployed, and participates in a collaboration to hire foreign nursing personnel
  • Director Becker: "We also need foreign specialists among our nurses"

The number of employed is rising - due to the foreign-born nurses, also

The healthcare industry is booming. Currently, 1.6 million women and men are employed subject to social security deductions, in healthcare and geriatric care. That is 174,000 more than four years ago. Within just a few years, the number of employees in the industry has increased by twelve percent. By comparison: employment throughout Germany has increased by nine percent, over the same time period.

In order to meet the high demand for labour, nursing facilities are increasingly turning to employees from other countries. Four years ago, the proportion of foreign nurses was just under seven percent. In the meantime, it has risen to eleven percent. Many employees are from the member states of the EU like Poland, Romania and Croatia.

More vacancies, fewer unemployed - skilled workers are scarce

The increasing proportion of nurses from abroad is mainly the result of high demand for labour. Especially with geriatric nurses there is a nationwide shortage of employees. The highest demand is for skilled (certified) specialists. For the 15,300 registered jobs for skilled workers in April 2018, there are only 3,000 male and female unemployed applicants. It is much the same with general healthcare jobs. For the 12,100 registered jobs for skilled workers in April 2018, there are only 5,000 male and female unemployed applicants.

Employment agencies and Job Centres support certification

In view of the almost comprehensive shortage of skilled workers in healthcare and geriatric care, employment agencies and Job Centres are increasingly focusing on continuing vocational training for the unemployed. In the last five years, for example, 33,800 unemployed people have started an education programme leading to qualification as a registered geriatric nurse. For the general nursing profession, the number was 2,100.

It also helps that employment agencies and Job Centres, in the context of the "Training and Qualification Offensive for the Elderly Care," can fully support the training by the end of 2019. The co-financing by third parties, which is otherwise required for the third year of training, is not required here. Such regulation does not exist for the nursing profession.

The German Employment Agency (BA) relies on collaboration when it comes to recruiting trained nurses from abroad

Since the qualification of the unemployed to secure the need for skilled labour in the industry is not sufficient, the BA participates in collaboration for the acquisition of foreign nurses. For the past five years, the Federal Employment Agency (BA) and the German Association for International Collaboration (GIZ) GmbH have been qualifying healthcare specialists for the German labour market, within the framework of the Triple Win programme, from Serbia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and the Philippines. In these countries, there is a surplus of trained nurses who cannot find adequate employment in their country of origin. Meanwhile, the program has provided a placement for1,300healthcare specialists.

Director Becker: "We also need foreign specialists among our nurses"

"In Germany, on the other hand, there is a growing demand for qualified healthcare employees. Among other reasons, this is due to demographic development. Of course, we also try to mobilise the domestic reserves and to promote education for young people in the healthcare sector or to qualify the unemployed. This will still not be enough. "We need the foreign employees and want to offer these people a long-term perspective," explains Raimund Becker, Regional Director of the Federal Employment Agency.