Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Three Billion in Costs

Channel One (ARD) from the German networks.....had a short update piece last night over the Labor Ministry and immigrants in Germany.  What  Andrea Nahles (Labor Minister) said was that she'll need funding for a program to get refugees and immigrants into a job as quickly as possible.  It's taken months for the government to say this and admit there will have to be a special program in effect.

The amount for this program for the foreseeable future?  Three billion Euro.  Yeah.....a fairly big chunk of money.  Some people will be dazed by it, and some will just say it's the price of doing this sort of future-planning.

ARD's reporter laid it correctly....the economy right now in much as people whine about actually robust and looking fairly good.  There are regions of Germany with high unemployment (eastern Germany for example).  But there are sections of the country that really look great and need new employees.

The one odd issue that this news report tossed out there?  Only a quarter of these accepted refugees/immigrants....are between sixteen and twenty-four years old, and the bulk of these people don't have certifications or identified qualifications.  We are talking about approximately sixty-percent and that's a tough number to just look past and feel enthusiastic about the future. It means you'd need an enhanced program.....more instructors....and figure a way to implement this across a broad country.

A smart person would look at this and think about the scheduling process.  You get through the hurdle of approval to stay.  Then you start the language and integration classes....figure six months minimum.  Then you get into a job-training program which might take a full-year as a minimum.  Help at the end to get the guy into an apprentice deal?  Probably so.

To note....that three billion is for the first full year (not a multi-year).

I should also note that the ARD folks laid out this wild-card in terms of length and costs....this is the cheap end of the program.  By could be seven billion Euro a year, depending on how the refugees keep arriving.

Public acceptance of the funding?  It's an honest approach by the ministry folks and at least the public understands there is a cost factor (something that the German government has tried to often avoid saying in public forums).  If you didn't agree with the refugee'll just be another ton of bricks on your frustrations.  If you did agree with the refugee least you know there is a plan on jobs for these folks.

But there is one slight pondering left for me.  Let's say in four years....ISIS loses their 'thing' in Syria and is chased out.  A new government arrives in Syria, and people suddenly get charmed into the idea of leaving Germany and going home.  The ten-odd billion paid out over the period?  Totally wasted. The Germans are hoping in some way, that this won't be the scenario and this is a long-term situation. It's the best angle for the future, but I wouldn't want to be a political figure trying to explain how ten billion got spent and your trained folks finally packed up and left.....leaving nothing for your investment.

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