October 25, 2015 / 4:16 PM / 4 years ago

Airbus boss calls on Germany to open up labour market to refugees

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany should deregulate its labour market and create more lower-paid jobs to help refugees find work and integrate better into society, the head of Europe’s largest aerospace group Airbus (AIR.PA) said on Sunday.

Germany expects at least 800,000 migrants to arrive this year alone, almost 1 percent of the population, many of them fleeing conflicts in Syria and elsewhere. Politicians and economists have warned the influx will push up unemployment in Europe’s biggest economy.

“We must have the courage for deregulation in the way that so far we know from the United States,” Tom Enders, a German, wrote in a commentary for the Sueddeutsche newspaper.

“That seems hard to imagine. But there, you see a successful integration of migrants who are allowed to work soon after they arrive,” he wrote.

Germany should make exceptions for the minimum wage and offer more flexibility with short-term contracts, he said.

“If the threshold for entry into the labour market is too high, the integration of immigrants in society will fail,” Enders wrote.

“It is better to enter the labour market with mini-jobs or low-paid jobs than not at all and to be condemned to social security, doing nothing and frustration.”

Some economists have argued that the influx of migrants could provide skilled labour, especially in some areas where there are shortages such as engineering, and boost economic growth.

Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Gareth Jones

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