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Global Economy

"Something has to happen"

On Monday, Andrea Nahles will officially take up her position as the new head of the Federal Employment Agency – the first woman to head the agency. "I've been doing labor market and social policy for decades," said the former SPD party leader and federal minister of the ARD. Now she is "in an authority that has an incredible amount of competence, many committed employees – that goes well together".

Nahles faces major challenges. As far as the impending energy bottlenecks are concerned, she has already taken the consequences into account. "I don't expect normal operations in the next twelve months. Energy prices will continue to rise." The BA is preparing for various scenarios, said Nahles – for example if companies have to reduce their production and send employees on short-time work. "Then we'll be there and do everything we can to help with short-time work benefits and everything we have to offer," she told the "Spiegel". The job centers would then have to pay additional aid to low earners.

Nahles demands new impulses from the government

Another major construction site is the lack of skilled workers and the better integration of immigrants from third countries into the labor market, according to Nahles in the ARD. "They bring experience and qualifications." However, Germany is "extremely complicated. If we don't get better there, we will lose potential. Something has to happen again politically."

Nahles is also demanding new impetus from the government so that women can work longer part-time. For this, childcare and other conditions would have to be improved.

More time for personal advice

Nahles also wants to make the Nuremberg authority a pioneer in digitization. This requires the use of artificial intelligence and automation processes, for example. This should create freedom for employees, who should then have more time for personal advice to job seekers. "We should think even more from the customer's point of view," said Nahles of the "Süddeutsche Zeitung". In addition to the unemployed, these are also the companies that are looking for skilled workers. "We have to push every button so that Germany doesn't finally run out of workers."

You can already register as unemployed online, said Nahles. This year there should also be the possibility to submit an online application for basic security. The federal government must enable public administrations to "connect to progress". German authorities are heavily criticized for their technical backwardness – such as the health authorities in the corona pandemic.

Nahles ruled out a return to politics for years. Her new job is "a task that will last for many years and that's how I want to do it," she told the "Spiegel".

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