Germany to recognise foreign diplomas

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Germany is planning to recognise diplomas gained abroad in a move that would allow for the recruitment of 300,000 more qualified immigrants, the education minister said in an interview Monday.

Annette Schavan told the Financial Times Deutschland that the government is hoping to bring in new legislation by the end of the year which would enable employers to hire substantially more foreigners amid an intense debate about the integration of immigrants within Germany.

"Anyone who has studied abroad will be entitled to an equivalent qualification in Germany", putting the number of workers who could benefit at 300,000, said Schavan.

"Qualifications from abroad should be evaluated with the same criteria as those obtained in Germany," the minister added.

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily, the legislation will not impact on the engineering or teaching sector which are the remit of state governments rather than their federal counterparts.

But it will benefit health workers and carers as well as small businesses.

At the moment, workers who have obtained qualifications abroad have to pass a series of practical and theoretical tests as well as undergo interviews and evaluations.

New of the legislation comes after a speech by Chancellor Angela Merkel at the weekend in which she said in which said Germany's attempt to create a multi-cultural society has failed completely and called on the country's immigrants to do more to learn the language and adopt Christian values.

© 2010 AFP

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