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HomeEmploymentSpanish youth flee to Germany
Graduates are heading for Berlin

Spanish youth flee to Germany

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The Greek rate of youth unemployment now stands at more than 60%, Spain´s is more than 50% and Italy and Portugal are at 40%. Germany, with its shortage of skilled workers, the highest employment level it has known for almost 25 years, and an ageing population, has become a magnet for this section of European society. 80,000 young southern Europeans are arriving every year in Germany.

From Lisbon to Madrid, the Goethe Institut, the body representing Germany´s cultural interests abroad, has reported a record uptake in its language classes, as growing numbers decide to learn German to set them up for the workplace. It is scrambling to find teachers to meet the demand.

Meanwhile, the job sections of advertisement websites are inundated with Spaniards, Portuguese and Italians offering to do everything from washing up to au pair jobs, often for just a few hundred euros a month.

In the first half of 2012, the number of emigrants from Spain to Germany was up on the same period of the previous year by 53%. Among Greeks the figure was 78% higher.

The Greek rate of youth unemployment now stands at more than 60%, Spain´s is more than 50% and Italy and Portugal are at 40%. Germany, with its shortage of skilled workers, the highest employment level it has known for almost 25 years, and an ageing population, has become a magnet for this section of European society.

Germany´s International Placement Service (ZAV), which is responsible for recruiting foreign workers to fill the gaps in the country´s job market, is feverishly scouring southern Europe for skilled workers such as engineers and scientists, nurses and care workers.

In an effort to show it takes the new workers seriously, the German government has put €140m into a fund to help with everything from language classes, to supporting newcomers with bureaucracy, finding accommodation, travel and relocation costs.

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