Foreign qualifications deserve better recognition

Foreign professionals' qualifications no longer on the shelf.Highly skilled workers, who studied or were trained abroad, are benefitting from a new German law that has been put forward. Currently applicants are often overlooked by employers if they have qualifications acquired outside of Germany. As a result, many skilled professionals are in jobs unsuited to their abilities. The law, put forward in April 2012, as well as a new internet portal, aims to alleviate this problem and stop professional talent from going to waste.

In comparison with foreign educated professionals, the situation for German nationals is notably better with 79 percent in professions suited to their level of education. The number for people, who have been educated abroad including people with both technical and academic qualifications, stands at 50 percent.

The only way for better integration of these people into the professional workforce is through a better understanding of foreign qualifications and their German equivalents. This is imperative because more than 60 percent of qualified foreigners have achieved their qualifications in their respective homelands.

Bosses and employers should have a system which helps them differentiate between different education systems and to understand which qualification corresponds to the German equivalent. Potential employees can also make good use of such a system, so that they themselves are better informed when applying for a position. Such a system would allow them to clearly see where they stand in the German education system and to identify whether they need further qualifications for the job in question.

However, as of yet, relatively few people have used such a system - 44 percent of people who are highly qualified and 22 percent who are lesser qualified.

The situation is not much better in other European countries, and the reasons for this are multifaceted. The foreign qualification in question is sometimes not enough for the position but, more often, confusion due to differing complicated education systems are at fault.

The new law, which was put forward in April 2012, aims to ease the confusion and strives for better recognition of foreign qualifications achieved both in other parts of Europe and throughout the world. It includes all federally recognized professions including around 340 state recognized dual occupations.

Not only formal qualifications that can be compared but also further education and training completed in the workplace can be considered. Help can also be given to those, such as refugees, who have no proof of qualifications or previous work experience.


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