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Germany's Workforce

Germany is home to a highly educated and motivated workforce with proven language skills and interest in the STEM disciplines.

Skilled labor is readily available

Germany has a high percentage of individuals with secondary and tertiary qualifications. According to EUROSTAT, approximately 87 percent of the individuals aged 25 to 64 have completed at least an upper secondary program, and around 28 percent have obtained a tertiary degree. A dual vocational education and training (VET) program combining vocational on-the-job training and general classroom instruction has been completed by more than 40 percent of the adult population.

STEM subjects are popular in tertiary education

 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects are very popular among graduate students in tertiary education in Germany. These disciplines, chosen by 35 percent of students, offer diverse specializations and research opportunities that cater to various interests and career goals.  The popularity of STEM subjects also reflects the country’s strong focus on scientific and technological advancement.

Worker motivation levels are high

Germany is internationally renowned for its highly motivated and productive workforce. There are several factors coming into effect: a strong work ethic, a positive work environment (including reasonable working hours), paid vacation, and social benefits as well as a proven commitment to skills development and training. A recent IMD survey confirmed the leading position of Germany among its major FDI competitors.

English is widely spoken

English is taught as a mandatory subject in German schools - starting in primary education and continuing through to secondary education. Many individuals also choose to further improve their English language skills through private instruction, online resources and international study opportunities. These factors all contribute to Germany's prominent position in the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI).

German employees are loyal to their company

Job tenure of employed persons, i.e. the length of time a person has been employed continuously by a particular company, is very high in Germany. According to EUROSTAT, approximately 87 percent of the workforce have been continuously employed for at least one year - and around 45 percent for at least 10 years. This means that employer spending for on-boarding and initial training are minimal.

International students remain in Germany

International students who come to Germany to study extend their visit to stay in the country. According to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, 48 percent of students who registered to study in Germany between 2006 and 2011 were still living in the country after five years. One third of the total number of students issued with a study residence permit during the same period remained in Germany after 10 years. Germany's high retention rate of international students is amongst the highest among OECD countries.

Did you know? 

Germany is the world's third most attractive destination for foreign students - only behind the USA and UK. Get the details here.


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