The issue is becoming volatile because of demographic changes which will in the future only increase the shortage of skilled workers that is already noticeable in Germany and other European countries. According to the calculations of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research [German acronym: IW], in 2011 there was already a shortage of over 158,000 highly qualified workers, particularly in the industrial sector of the MINT professions (mathematics, informatics, natural sciences, and technology) (BMWi 2012a). In order to counteract this shortage of skilled workers, in June 2011 the German federal government reached an agreement on five strategies for tapping skilled workers.
Structure of the Policy Brief
Published on the occasion of the coming-into-effect of this act, the present policy brief is devoted to the subject of the accreditation in Germany of educational certificates acquired abroad. In the following, first an overview is provided of the previous regulations on the accreditation of certificates acquired abroad and specific problems are addressed which have emerged from the previous practice of accreditation. In this context it should be made clear why a legal basis for recognizing qualifications acquired abroad seemed absolutely essential. Then the BQFG is presented in detail before a critical look is taken at the new regulations that have been introduced as part of this act: Does the law really represent a suitable method for solving the problems of previous accreditation practice and making it more effective? Or does the BQFG fall short of acquiring, as planned, skilled workers and of enabling more people to obtain recognition of their qualifications acquired abroad? Are there, parallel with the law, efforts underway to change the accreditation system itself? On these and other related issues the present policy brief offers an overview.
This text is part of the policy brief on Interner Link: "Procedures for the Assessment of Qualifications Acquired Abroad in Transition".