ERIC Number: ED455362
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
From Guests to Permanent Stayers? From the German "Guestworker" Programmes of the Sixties to the Current "Green Card" Initiative for IT Specialists. IAB Labour Market Research Topics No. 43.
In the 1960s, German industry experienced a greater need for labor. Recruitment agreements for "guestworkers" were concluded with a number of Mediterranean countries, with the opinion at the time being that temporary immigration would be in the interests of all involved: German firms would get cheap labor, the "guestworkers" could earn money and return to their home countries with their savings, and the countries of origin would benefit from the remittances sent from abroad by their workers and from the know-how these workers brought back. This ideal turned out to be an illusion as stays lengthened, families joined workers, and children were born in Germany. After the oil price shock of 1973, a recruitment ban on workers from non-European Union countries was adopted in principle, and restrictive regulations were put in place. However, because of traditions of family reunification and European conventions of providing asylum, as well as for other reasons, the number of foreign workers continued to increase. By the year 2000, improving labor markets and shortages of skilled labor created new allowances for 10,000 to 20,000 foreign information technology (IT) specialists to come to Germany to work for up to 5 years. As a result of these changing needs, German immigration policy has often been incoherent. Lessons learned through the experiences of the past include the following: (1) immigration policy should be rational and transparent in order to discourage evasion and allow both employers and workers to plan their lives; (2) immigration must be geared toward local and regional needs; (3) employers should be encouraged to look more extensively for domestic workers before importing foreign workers; and (4) the short- and long-term consequences of immigration should be considered in order to develop a desirable and workable immigration policy. (Contains 54 references.) (KC)
Descriptors: Adults, Developed Nations, Employment Opportunities, Employment Patterns, Foreign Countries, Foreign Policy, Immigrants, Immigration, Information Technology, International Relations, Labor, Labor Legislation, Labor Needs, Labor Supply, Labor Utilization, Migrants, Policy Formation, Skilled Occupations, Skilled Workers
IAB, Regensburger Strasse 104, 90478, Nurenberg, Germany. (Annual price: 30 DM [Germany]; for foreigners, free). For full text: http://www.iab.de/ftproot/topics43.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute of Employment Research, Nurenberg (Germany).
Identifiers - Location: Germany