One of many problems plaguing Germany since their decision to essentially open their borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants from Syria and Iraq is how to get them employed and contributing to the local economy as part of their “assimilation.” As of a few months ago, officials estimate that more than 75% of the new arrivals are unemployed, collecting benefits and are “unlikely to find work” in the next ten years. Big problems such as this call for big solutions and the Germans think they’ve come up with a winner. What better job to give to these unemployed migrants than that of… being a truck driver. (Voice of Europe)
Due to an acute shortage of professional truck drivers the German trucking association has launched a new project to train asylum seekers for the job, Austria’s tabloid Wochenblick reports.
The project, which is named “The drive into your new future” intends to make it easier for asylum seekers to become truck drivers.
In this way, the German Red Cross (DRK) and the Logistics Organization (UVL) want to alleviate the shortage of truck drivers. The concept was developed together with the SVG Driving School North, reports newspaper DVZ.
During the training the candidates have to pass through two exams. In addition to its general suitability, the DRK also wants to check the language skills and the status of residence. In addition, a separate “refugee representative” should look after the participants during the three-year training.
I understand that we probably broke the sarcasm meter with this question long ago but I still have to ask… what could possibly go wrong?
To be fair, it’s not hard to understand why Germany might find themselves in need of more truck drivers. The unemployment rate there is currently down to roughly 3.6% so they’re close to what we would describe as “full employment.” Unless they’re paying their truck drivers exceptionally well it might be hard to attract new employees in that sort of market.
But does anyone else see why focusing on hiring these refugees in large numbers as truck drivers would have some of the population a bit on the nervous side? You may recall the story of Anis Amri, the asylum seeker who drove a truck into a crowd at high speed in Berlin shortly before Christmas in 2016, killing twelve pedestrians and injuring more than fifty others. While he wasn’t the first, he certainly seemed to popularize the ISIS endorsed strategy of using trucks as weapons of terror in countries around the world.
Even if you can get past the optics of loading up hundreds of German trucks with other asylum seekers, is this a productive way to fill those jobs? There’s probably a combination of factors involved, including both vetting and training, but the German program is requiring three years of training before the new drivers are ready to hit the roads on their own. In the United States, you can get a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) with about three months of driving school and a short apprenticeship before you’re ready to go to work. It sounds like the Germans are going to be sinking a ton of money into each of these applicants just to get them situated in what is essentially a blue collar job.
Let’s give the Germans credit for trying to think outside the box and put some of these migrants to work. But if just one of them winds up taking their new commercial trucking license and using it to carry out an attack, Angela Merkel will be back on the hot seat once again.