Since 1st October 2016, skilled workers from non-EU countries have a new possibility of working in Germany. With the Points-Based Model Project for Foreign Skilled Workers – German abbreviation PuMa – the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg intends to test a new immigration channel for a duration of three years. For the first time, this new immigration possibility provides skilled workers who have completed a vocational training with the possibility of taking up a job in any area of occupation* – as soon as they have found a suitable job. However PuMa is restricted to the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg in southwestern Germany.
The aim of this project is to facilitate the access of skilled workers from all over the world to the German labour market within the economically vibrant state of Baden-Württemberg. The approach of this project is to address both the economic necessities of the region as well as the social aspects by emphasizing on the ability of the PuMa participants to integrate into their new environment. In this context, PuMa offers skilled workers a professional perspective in a dynamic labour marked in a country with a high quality of living and social standards that are by international standards among the best in the world.
The PuMa project sponsors are the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the Federal Employment Agency (BA). Other important stakeholders who are closely engaged in the project are the employer associations, the trade unions, the chamber organisations, the Welcome Centres, and the “Integration by Qualification” network.
Baden-Wuerttemberg was selected as the PuMa project region, because it is an economically dynamic state with an especially high demand for skilled workers. It is renowned all over the world for its big company groups such as Daimler Benz, Bosch or IBM Germany. Here, where the automobile was invented, about a quarter of all the industrial turnover nowadays comes from the leading sector, the automotive industry with its many suppliers, closely followed by mechanical engineering and plant construction (about 20 percent) and the metal and electrical industry (about 7 percent each). The chemical, pharmaceutical and optical industries also play an important role. Beside the big multinational companies the economic structure is in particular characterised by its numerous small and medium-sized companies, which are often world leaders in their respective product segments.
Furthermore the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg has an excellent service infrastructure to help immigrants to integrate into their new environment, once they have arrived. In total there are eleven so-called Welcome Centres, which advise newcomers on matters such as their permit of residence as well as questions about everyday-life in Germany like finding accommodation, taxes, insurances and leisure activities.