NAfter the aviation industry, the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga) is now also demanding easier immigration rules for staff from abroad. The shortage of staff after two years of the pandemic with nine months of lockdown and short-time work is also causing problems for the hotel and catering industry, said Dehoga President Guido Zöllick on Friday. “We now need quick and pragmatic measures to recruit employees.”
In addition to easier immigration rules, Zöllick also called for improved labor market integration of refugees. Companies must be supported to be able to hire skilled workers and workers from third countries. It is “essential” to simplify procedures, accelerate the procurement of visas and create new legal options for targeted labor migration.
Intergovernmental agreements required
In order to enable the employment of seasonal workers in the hospitality industry, intergovernmental agreements should be concluded with interested countries, Zöllick demanded. “There are also many workers in the countries of the Western Balkans who would like to work in hotels and restaurants in Germany.” The capacities of the German embassies in these countries would have to be expanded; the Western Balkans regulation is to be extended indefinitely, the quota to be expanded.
According to this regulation, up to 25,000 nationals from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia can come to Germany and work here every year. It is scheduled to expire at the end of 2023.
Shortage of staff despite wage increases
According to a Dehoga survey from early June, more than 60 percent of companies in the industry are looking for skilled workers and unskilled workers. Companies would therefore have to reduce opening hours and reject events, said Zöllick. The companies are making “considerable efforts” to keep employees and recruit new ones. The Dehoga President named wage increases in the double-digit percentage range and sharply increased training allowances.
The government announced on Wednesday that it would facilitate the entry of foreign workers for the airports affected by staff shortages – a “four-digit number” is said to come primarily from Turkey. According to the study, around 7,200 skilled workers are missing at the airports. The facilitated entry is to apply for a limited period of time.