Adecco SA, the world’s biggest supplier of temporary workers, said it’s hiring Spanish engineers to fill German jobs as Europe’s largest economy lacks skilled employees and Spain is facing a recession.
“We are proactively looking for candidates in Spain,” Andreas Dinges, the head of Adecco’s German business, said in a phone interview. “We have already recruited more than 50 engineers from Spain and if the German economy doesn’t worsen, I am confident we can get several hundreds.”
Germany has an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent compared with almost 24.6 percent in Spain, the highest in the European Union, according to the Eurostat statistics agency. Spaniards are struggling to find work as budget cuts erode consumer demand and prompt companies to eliminate jobs.
Adecco will provide German language courses for its Spanish recruits in Germany and help with relocation to the country, Dinges said. The company, based in Glattbrugg, Switzerland, may also link up with Spanish universities.
“There are more than 30,000 open positions for engineers in Germany that cannot be filled,” Dinges said. “The quantity and quality of the candidates are not meeting fully the demand of the industry in Germany. We’ve got to get the right people and make them stay.”
Adecco will focus on getting skilled workers from northern Italy once its project with Spain “is up and running by October,” Dinges said. The company is mostly looking for engineers and information-technology workers for the auto, aircraft and machine-building industries, he said.
“We moved to Germany because there’s a possibility to find appealing positions” for people with highly technical training, said Africa Perianez, 32, who moved from Madrid to Frankfurt with boyfriend Javier Menendez, also 32, in February 2010. Both have post-graduate degrees in theoretical physics.
“Compared to the offer in our home country, where the investment in research and development is so small, this is like paradise for us,” said Perianez, a scientific researcher at the German weather service. Menendez is a researcher at the Technical University of Darmstadt.
More than a quarter of working-age immigrants to Germany in the 1999-2009 period had a university degree, according to a study published this month by the Cologne-based IW economic research institute. That compares with 18 percent for the German population.
The immigrants’ average age is 32.6 years, more than 10 years younger than the overall German population, IW’s report shows.