German industry eyes local talent

In a drive to reverse the effects of a brain drain in its engineering sector, German industry representatives on Tuesday met with graduates of the National Technical University of Athens in an employment networking event organized by the Greek and German branches of the European Employment Service (EURES).

Katerina Flaka, the head of the Greek section of EURES, which specializes in higher educated jobseekers, described the event held in central Athens as a ?marriage? of supply and demand for professionals within the European Union, adding that industry-heavy Germany has made official overtures to specialized workers in cash-strapped Greece and Spain to make up for the increasing number of German engineers making their way to more prosperous places outside the European Union.

EURES, which also works with the Greek Manpower Organization (OAED), had previously organized a similar event for doctors looking for employment abroad.

?I was impressed by the high level of German spoken by many of the applicants,? Rabea Malchow, the representative from the German section of EURES, told Kathimerini after interviewing dozens of applicants from a cross section of engineering specialities on Tuesday.

?Most hope to find work in the cosmopolitan city of Berlin, but much to their chagrin there are few engineering jobs to be found in the German capital,? the German representative said, adding that Greek engineers who are seeking employment in German industries today would have to follow in the footsteps of the Gastarbeiter, or so-called guest workers, of the 1960s and 70s to cities such as Stuttgart, Munich and Nuremberg, as well as the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Unemployment in Greece stood at 17.5 percent in September, with construction and manufacturing being the hardest-hit sectors.

According to recent surveys, up to 70 percent of young Greeks are considering pursuing a career abroad.

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