In the debate about how to deal with refugees, there are demands from business and politics to accelerate the start of work.

Crafts President Jörg Dittrich is in favor of unbureaucratic integration of refugees into the labor market. “We have to be much more pragmatic. An entrepreneur should decide for himself who he can employ in his company. This should be possible without language tests and integration courses,” said the President of the Central Association of German Crafts to the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (Saturday). If someone works, they may learn the language faster and integrate more easily.

Support came from the Green Party leader in the Bundestag, Katharina Dröge. “We finally need a complete abolition of the many existing work bans for refugees. That makes sense and can be implemented in the short term,” Dröge told the newspapers of the Funke media group. In doing so, it also responded to an initiative by the German Association of Cities and Municipalities. General Manager Gerd Landsberg had spoken out in favor of allowing refugees with prospects of staying to take up work right from the start. The need in the labor market is there.

Dröge added: “We shouldn’t burden the municipalities with false solutions and symbolic politics. Mandatory charitable work for refugees would be a major bureaucratic burden for the municipalities.” This also applies to the demand for benefits in kind. “Less instead of more bureaucracy – and above all the opportunity for refugees to work in Germany from day one. That would actually be a relief for the municipalities.”

Scholz is in favor of this

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also spoke out in favor of more asylum seekers being able to work. “I share the understanding of many people who say: If there is work that needs to be done and there is someone who could do it, then they should do it,” said Scholz in the SWR’s Weekly Interview. However, one should not confuse the issues of flight and persecution with labor immigration.

“I expect the federal states to come up with a concept by the next migration summit at the latest as to how the immigration authorities will issue work permits digitally and unbureaucratically in the future,” said the chairman of the FDP parliamentary group, Christian Dürr, in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”. The recognition of professional qualifications is also an important issue.

The logistics group DHL, which employs many refugees, also suggested relief. “In our view, it would be beneficial to minimize the length of the work ban for early integration into the labor market,” said a spokeswoman for “FAS”. It is important to “enable early contact between companies and those willing to work”.

Criticism of too many exceptions

In principle, refugees can take up employment in Germany after three months. But this has too many exceptions, criticized crafts president Dittrich – and should be urgently revised. “The responsible authorities are more than ever called upon to interpret their discretion in a way that is training and employment-friendly.”

SPD leader Saskia Esken told the newspapers of the Bavaria media group: “Many who want to work are not allowed to work. We have to overcome this by reducing employment bans. If a company is found that wants to employ someone, then no employment ban should prevent that.” Foreign qualifications would also have to be recognized more quickly. “This is all taking far too long.”