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02.04.2014

Counselling is the key to successful recognition

BMBF press release 026/2014

Federal government has approved first report on the Federal Recognition Act / Wanka: "Efficient tool for ensuring supply of skilled workers"

Today, the federal government has approved the first report on the implementation of the Federal Recognition Act. Two years after the federal act, which for the first time stipulated a general and full legal entitlement to assessment of equivalence of a foreign vocational certificate with the German reference profession, came into force, the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Johanna Wanka, and the Minister of Science and Economic Affairs of Saxony-Anhalt, Hartmut Möllring, have drawn a positive summary: "The Recognition Act has proven itself after a short period of time an efficient tool for ensuring the supply of skilled workers in Germany. It helps in improving the integration of persons with foreign certificates into the labour market. Customised information and counselling contribute decisively to successful recognition", Wanka says.

"The public authorities responsible for implementing the law in the federal states have committed themselves to this new task of assessing equivalence in detail", Möllring affirmed. "In 2012 alone, the public authorities of the federal states and the chambers have processed almost 11,000 applications. Data for the year 2013 are not available yet. At the same time, the federal states have also closely cooperated in establishing corresponding comprehensive legal entitlements for the occupations regulated by state laws by adopting their own recognition acts. Thirteen state laws have already entered into force. The remaining three are currently undergoing debate by the parliaments and will certainly come into effect in the next few months", stressed Möllring.

The report proves the experience with implementing the act to be positive. The official statistics show that the vast majority (82 percent) of the recognition procedures completed in 2012 have resulted in full recognition of the vocational qualifications acquired abroad. The level of interest was particularly high in the medical healthcare professions, especially with medical doctors and nurses, or in other words, exactly in those fields where the shortage of skilled workers is already apparent.

According to the report, two factors are decisive for achieving a rapid, uniform and successful recognition: good information and counselling structures for the recognition seekers and the strongest possible bundling of responsibilities in the recognition bodies.

With the "Recognition in Germany" Internet portal, the counselling network of the "Integration through Qualification (IQ)" funding programme and the service hotline at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), the federal government has established country-wide information and counselling services which quickly turned out to be success factors for recognition. In particular at the chambers responsible for the occupations in the dual system, central structures have emerged which ensure an efficient and uniform implementation of the processes. In order to bundle responsibilities for recognition, the federal states are planning to establish, for example, a central office for expert opinions for the regulated public health professions. Implementing this proposal quickly and with the staff and funding required would speed up the recognition procedures in this sector and make them more standardized.

"Another task for the future is to raise awareness in the enterprises. They should make even stronger use of the opportunities for recognising foreign vocational qualifications as a tool for personnel recruitment and development", Wanka says.

The first "Report on the Federal Recognition Act" has been published under: http://www.bmbf.de/de/15644.php