How can rural regions attract workers from overseas? – DW – 09/17/2023 | EUROtoday
When guests take within the view from the ruins of chateau Rosenstein, perched on a big rock above the city of Heubach, they’ll hardly suspect the area earlier than their eyes of being an engineering hotbed. Fields and forests dominate the panorama, with a couple of small cities scattered about.
But Kunjan Patel, a 30-year-old engineer from India, says it’s the big selection of profession choices for engineers that he finds most engaging about East Württemberg, an space situated an hour’s drive to the east of Stuttgart, within the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg.
“This is a nice region for engineers,” he says. “There are many interesting companies here, and each company has its individual style.”
About 450,000 folks stay in East Württemberg, an space greater than twice as giant as Berlin. The area boasts many profitable firms, amongst them greater than 300 companies in toolmaking, mechanical and plant engineering.
This makes it one in all many German regions which might be relatively rural, however economically necessary. According to the German authorities, rural regions account for about half of the nation’s gross home product (GDP) which stood at round €3.9 billion ($4.1 billion) in 2022.
As younger folks transfer from the countryside to the cities, the inhabitants of many rural areas ages much more quickly than that of city areas. This means the countryside must attract workers not solely from city areas, but in addition from overseas.
However, migrant workers lack the household ties that make many native Germans return to rural regions as soon as they cool down. They may additionally be reluctant to maneuver to areas with unsure profession prospects and fear a few much less satisfying social life amid an ethnically much less numerous and extra conservative inhabitants.
Local universities play key function in recruiting international graduates
Patel works at Richter lighting applied sciences, a producer of high-end lighting programs primarily based in Heubach, a city of 10,000 inhabitants. According to the corporate, it has 110 staff from 34 international locations.
Patel joined Richter in 2019. He was employed after visiting the corporate with a gaggle of worldwide college students on the close by University of Aalen, the place Patel pursued a grasp’s diploma.
Convincing worldwide college students to remain on after their diploma is likely one of the only methods to attract international graduates to the area, Markus Schmid of the East Württemberg Chamber of Commerce and Industry says. Otherwise, he instructed DW, particularly small and medium-sized firms within the area have few methods to be a magnet for potential candidates from overseas.
This is much less of an issue for giant world firms primarily based within the area, as they can afford lavish recruitment campaigns and have a robust employer model.
“At the moment, we can meet our needs for skilled workers, also due to our activities on the international labor market,” Georg von Erffa, head of company human assets at Zeiss, a big optics agency with headquarters in East Württemberg, instructed DW.
Small firms must develop their very own method
With far fewer assets at his disposal, Bernd Richter, the proprietor of Richter lighting, needed to discover his personal methods to construct and retain the varied workforce of his firm — generally at appreciable private effort: Occasionally, he even hosts new staff at his household residence.
Richter’s method to hiring, he says, is “never to exclude anything.” Being in a position to communicate German, for instance, will not be a knock-out criterion for him. The official working language at Richter is English, a lot to the satisfaction of Kunjan Patel, who says that studying German has been the best problem of dwelling in Germany. At Richter, staff are additionally provided free German classes.
The mayor of Heubach, Joy Alemazung, says he needs immigrants to really feel not solely tolerated, however accepted within the city.
“If I don’t feel different when someone is talking to me, I feel at home,” Alemazung instructed DW. He can draw on his personal expertise, having moved from his native Cameroon to Germany as a pupil.
The vibrant associational lifetime of rural locations can assist foster the acceptance of immigrants, Alemazung says, because it supplies newcomers and locals with alternatives to mingle. In this regard, rural areas have an edge over cities, he argues.
Kunjan Patel says he’s glad with the life-style East Württemberg has to supply.
“The social life is good,” he instructed DW, with many occasions each at and outdoors of labor. Patel additionally enjoys mountaineering on the Alb, a mountainous plateau within the area. “I love summer on the Alb,” he says.
This must be excellent news for his boss. As Bernd Richter places it, attracting workers to East Württemberg is finally a matter of discovering out “who would really be fulfilled here.”
Edited by: Rob Mudge