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Germany - Employment

The job market in Germany is strong and Germany has one of the lowest levels of unemployment in the European Union. Its unemployment level has halved over the last 10 years, defying the worldwide economic crisis. Germany is particularly proud of its high levels of employment amongst young people in a time when youth unemployment is at record highs in many countries across Europe.

Europe. However, it can be difficult for foreigners to stand out amongst a talented workforce with excellent language skills in order to find work in Germany. The positives are that decreasing birth rates in Germany have led to a significant demographic change and a resulting demand for skilled workers, which presents an opportunity for foreigners. Most opportunities are likely to be available in engineering, research and development or the technology industry, and you may also find positions available in the service industries which account for around 75% of Germany’s employment market. In general, Germany’s major cities have far more job opportunities available than in more rural areas.

There is some seasonal work available in Germany’s hotels and ski resorts. Summer work is likely to be available on the North Coast, Black Forest and Bavarian Alps and the popular ski resorts will have winter work available between December and April. You may find English teaching jobs in summer camps for youngsters, and you could also consider seasonal harvest work. Cherry picking happens in July and August, apple picking in September and grape picking in October and November.

When seeking employment in Germany academic credentials are vital and will be the most important aspect to highlight on your application. Most industries have strict regulations on the specific qualifications that are required in order to be employed in certain roles – you can find out more about this by contacting the relevant trade or business association in Germany. If you want to be employed as a skilled worker you will need to ensure that the local trade association or chamber of craft has officially recognised your qualifications. Germans often choose written communication as their preferred method of contact and they may frown upon hyperbole or overly emotional language in a job application. One of the main benefits of working in Germany is their commitment to flexible working hours – you are often free to choose your own hours, particularly when working in an office environment.

It is likely that you will need to be able to understand and speak a moderate level of the German language in order to be employed in Germany. As most Germans have at least a basic level of English language, native English speakers are not in high demand within the German employment market. Asian language skills, however, are very sought after and will greatly improve your chances of finding a job.

Germany has its own Federal Employment Agency called the Bundesagentur für Arbeit which advertises job vacancies and provides support for employment seekers. You can contact this agency via the following details:

Bundesagentur für Arbeit
The largest provider of labour market services in Germany.
Tel: +49 911 12031010

Other helpful places to look for job vacancies are specialist private recruitment agencies, specialist career fairs and job advertisements in newspapers – normally advertised in the weekend editions. It is usual for the national newspapers to advertise high level executive positions and local newspapers to advertise less senior positions.

There are many online search engines that specialise in jobs within Germany too. You may want to try one of the following websites:



The following Chambers of Commerce can also be a helpful source for finding employment in Germany:

British Chamber of Commerce in Germany
A British-German business to business network.
Tel: +49 (0)30 206 70 80
Email: info@bccg.de

German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce
A point of contact for all German-British business issues.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7976 4100

AmCham Germany
An organisation aiming to enhance economic and trade partnerships between America and Germany.
Tel: +49 69 9291040
Email: amcham@amcham.de

Finally, it is vital to ensure that you have the right to work in Germany as working illegally could lead to deportation or other punitive measures.

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