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Merkel warns German labor shortage could spark business exodus

Merkel warns German labor shortage could spark business exodus

German Chancellor Angela Merkel used her weekly podcast on sound the alarm on the country’s skilled labor shortage, saying it could force companies to move elsewhere.

“We know that many sectors and businesses are looking for skilled workers,” Merkel said. “Without sufficient skilled workers, a business location cannot be successful.

“That is why it is necessary for us to make every effort to recruit a sufficient number of specialists. Otherwise, companies will have to migrate — and, of course, we do not want that.”

The chancellor’s warning comes ahead of a summit on the issue between government representatives, employers and trade unions in Berlin on Monday.

Germany wants to tackle the shortfall domestically by providing “good training for as many people as possible,” Merkel said. At the same time, Berlin is looking to recruit qualified people from other European Union countries, and further afield.

There are already 2.5 million people from EU countries working in Germany. “But that alone is not enough, and that is why we also have to look for skilled workers from outside the European Union,” Merkel said.