‘When everyone’s a winner’
akzente: How does cooperation with GIZ, via the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM), benefit the Federal Employment Agency?
Monika Varnhagen: For three decades now, CIM – a joint venture between the Federal Employment Agency’s International Placement Services (ZAV) and GIZ – has been the recruitment agency for German development cooperation. CIM complements the two partners’ own service portfolios by placing specialist and management personnel with employers in partner countries with which the German Government engages in international cooperation. Up to now, this has taken place though the Integrated Experts and Returning Experts programmes. But there has been an ongoing debate at board level about possible ways of utilising the existing cooperation to jointly manage labour migration to Germany, thus creating synergies between the labour market and development policy. The starting point is the expected substantial shrinkage of the available workforce in the EU and Germany resulting from demographic change, the health sector being a particularly sensitive area. So we agreed to launch this joint pilot scheme. A strategy for temporary labour migration was developed, trialled and evaluated for specific occupations where there is a shortage of skilled workers. The project will end this year, and discussions about an extension are currently under way.
Of course – and this is where GIZ’s contribution comes in – we take into account the interests of the countries of origin and the interests of the migrants themselves, hence the name ‘Triple Win’.
What’s the innovative feature of the Triple Win concept compared with CIM’s recruitment of Integrated and Returning Experts?
First and foremost, of course, it’s the direction of the recruitment process: instead of recruiting for other countries, we’re placing staff in Germany. When we send experts abroad, the focus is on the needs of the developing and emerging countries, but here, the direction is reversed – it’s about Germany’s labour market needs. This is changing the roles of both partners in the joint venture. Of course – and this is where GIZ’s contribution comes in – we take into account the interests of the countries of origin and the interests of the migrants themselves, hence the name ‘Triple Win’.
The interview was first published in the GIZ magazine akzente, issue 04/2012.