Germany to pay €150m to unemployed to work

Labour Minister Andrea Nahles plans to create heavily subsidized jobs to deal with Germany's intractable long-term unemployment problem.

Germany to pay €150m to unemployed to work
Photo: DPA

“We believed for too long that we would get everyone into work just by improving the economy,” Nahles told the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday.

In a plan to be presented to the Bundestag's social committee on Wednesday, she will outline government subsidies for jobs for the long-term unemployed of up to 100 percent, funded from an annual budget of €150 million.

Nahles also plans to recruit more staff for job centre employment office branches, especially 'coaches' to provide personal support to the unemployed.

Germany has around 10 percent more long-term unemployed people than the average in the advanced economies' club the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).

German social charities have long been calling on Nahles to do more to deal with the problem.

“If you really want to end this misery, it has to start with a paradigm shift in the labour market,” president of the German Social Federation Adolf Bauer said.

Ulrich Schneider of the Equality Association had suggestions for Nahles.

“We need concrete programmes for the more than one million people who have already been looking for work for over a year,” he said.

“Giving aid to social enterprises could create good, real jobs for these people.”

Ulrike Mascher, president of social federation VdK, said that there should be a public job market with a set wage and social benefits.

“A public employment sector can offer a future to long-term unemployed people who have no chance on the open market because of social, psychological or health problems,” Mascher said.

The charities also called on Nahles to abandon her plans for cuts to Hartz IV unemployment benefits as part of a streamlining process.

SEE ALSO: Unemployment rate stagnates in September

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Which Bavaria-based companies regularly hire English speakers?

Bavaria is no doubt a beautiful state with a strong economy, but can be a hard place for non-German speakers to integrate. The Local takes a look at job opportunities in Germany’s southeastern 'Free State.'

Which Bavaria-based companies regularly hire English speakers?

Munich ranks third in German cities with the highest total GDP, behind Berlin and Hamburg, but in terms of GDP per capita, it’s higher than both of them.

It also consistently ranks high, often highest, in terms of average household income.

As of 2023, nine of the 40 companies listed on DAX, Germany’s stock index, were based in Bavaria. Seven of those are based specifically in Munich.

While Frankfurt is commonly known to be Germany’s business capital, Munich can claim the title of Germany’s insurance capital, which is saying something, as Germany is home to some of the largest insurance firms in the world, like Allianz.

Beyond the state’s capital city, a number of international companies are based elsewhere in Bavaria, particularly in the Franken region, near Nuremberg.

Which companies actively hire English speakers?

Bavaria, and Munich in particular, is home to a number of companies at the forefront of international business. But the state is known for its traditional, sometimes conservative, culture, which affects its business culture as well.

Whereas companies embracing English as their primary business language are easy to find in Berlin, the practice is less common in the south. That said, there are some notable exceptions. 

Sportswear giants, Adidas and Puma, both have their headquarters near Nuremberg in Herzogenaurach, and regularly recruit English speaking international talent.

“As an international company, our teams reflect the rich diversity of our consumers and communities,” Jon Greenhalgh, Senior Manager Media Relations for Adidas told The Local. “Fostering a culture of inclusion where we value and leverage differences, ensures that we can authentically engage with our employees and truly connect with our consumers.”

He added that around 40 per cent of Adidas’ Germany-based employees are foreign nationals, from over 100 different countries.

Siemens and BMW rank among Bavaria’s top employers, and are also known to hire their fair share of foreigners.

“In Germany, we recently had around 2,000 open positions,” Konstanze Somborn told The Local on behalf of Siemens AG.

He added that Siemens operates in 190 countries. “That is why we value international teams very much…English as a common language is very usual.”

READ ALSO: ‘Which German companies want to hire foreigners?’

Similarly, BMW hires workers from a variety of backgrounds. 

“Every year, we hire lots of internationals and welcome them to the BMW Group,” Dr. Hans-Peter Ketterl, a press spokesman for BMW Group told The Local. 

But not all of these positions are available to non-German speakers.

Ketterl added that BMW’s working language is German in the country, even though, “English is an indispensable entry requirement as the second corporate language in many areas of the company.”

Check job boards and follow best practices

If it’s your first time applying for jobs in Germany, make sure to change your resume to the German format, even for English positions.

While Germany is home to its own job boards, like Xing, LinkedIn is probably the best place to start. In addition to searching for positions based in your preferred location, you can check relevant groups, like Munich Startups, to broaden your horizons.

The English Jobs in Germany website is also a good resource to start with.