engineer in Germany

An Engineer in Germany



local qualified come/came/come
fan (2) stage (2) bureaucracy
global probation manufacture
expand rapidly ventilator (2)
skill decision far and wide
labor staff (2) leave/left/left (2)
option step (2) opportunity
exploit welfare understand/understood/understood
earn opinion say/said/said
test (2) network (2) to put into practice
show colleague go/went/gone (2)
policy receive (2) accommodation
still (3) area (3) chose/chose/chosen
chance in contact make/made/made
recruit free time tell/told/told
career degree (3) take/took/taken
human resource human resources
fitness forge (2) look all over
offer improve surrounding
employ form (2) leave him to his own devices
choice make sure bring/brought/brought
region head (2) feel at home
leading priority feel/felt/felt
extra in demand as long as possible
sign up insurance find/found/found
recruit permit (2) case-by-case
basis obviously competition
search period (4) soundproof





They come from all over: from Turkey, Kosovo, or locally from Swabia, in Germany’s southwest.

Qualified workers are in demand in Sielabek. The fan and ventilator manufacturer has a global network which has expanded rapidly over the past few years.

The company has searched far and wide for skilled labor.

Liviu Somesan is an engineer from Romania.

Liviu Somesan, Romanian Engineer: “For me, it was a difficult decision to come here, because I had to leave my family there in Romania. But for me, for my career, it’s a big step, because I have the opportunity to learn new things, to improve new skills. And that’s why I came here.”

The engineer doesn’t understand those who say Romanians only want to exploit Germany’s social welfare system.

Liviu Somesan, Romanian Engineer: “In my opinion, that is wrong: Romanian people come to Germany to work, to earn money, experience. I came here to improve myself, to put into practice what I’ve learned in the past few years.”

The ventilators are tested in a soundproof room.

Peter Janke shows his new colleague how it works. He also went to university in Klausenbrug in Romania, the same place where Viviu Somesan received his engineering degree.

Liviu Somesan, Romanian Engineer: “I have no choice: if I want to work in this area, and it was a difficult decision to make, but this is for my future.”

Peter Janky, Engineer at Ziehl-Abegg: “I’m still in contact with his professor. And he told me, ‘If you take Liviu, you have the best chance to have a very good and very skilled engineer for your company. And if you look all over the world, you will find some people who are coming from Klausenburg, from Cluj.’ That’s the important thing: in Lucern, in Alben, in London.”

The company has also recruited another new staff member from Romania and one from Peru.

The head of human resources helps them find accommodation, and even offers them options for their free time; for example, the dance-fitness classes which are popular.

Ramona Blankenstein, Ziehl-Abegg Human Resources Manager: “If I want to employ someone, I have to offer then extra information. I can’t just bring them to Künzelsau, and leave them to their own devices.

So to forge a connection, we really try to make sure that the new colleagues feel at home and that they can bring their families and stay as long as possible with us.”

The town of Künzelsau in southern Germany. The surrounding region has a number of world leading engineering firms, so the competition is hot for highly qualified staff.

Ramona Blankenstein helps the new arrivals with the forms and the bureaucracy, like signing up for health insurance.

She’d like to recruit even more workers from outside Europe. But to do that, she says, policies need to change.

Ramona Blankenstein, Ziehl-Abegg Human Resources Manager: “When we go to a non-European country, it becomes very difficult to get a work permit. It’s okay to get a visa, but the work permit is only granted on a case-by-case basis.

So for us, that obviously makes it quite difficult to plan.”

Twenty-eight year old Liviu Somasan is embarking on the next big stage in his professional life. Once he gets past the probation period, his first priority is to bring his wife to Germany.

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1. Skilled workers at the fan and ventilator factory are 100% German. Is this correct or incorrect?

2. In (Swabia) Germany, are there more qualified applicant than positions, or the other way around?

3. Liviu, the Romanian engineer, was very enthusiastic about living and working in Germany. He never hesitated in jumping at the opportunity. Is this entirely true, mostly true, in the middle, yes and no, partially true, largely false or completely false?

4. Does everyone in Germany appreciate (Romanian) migrants? Why do Liviu and other Romanians come to Germany?

5. The Ziehl-Abegg company only deals with migrant workers’ payroll and taxes. Is this right or wrong?

6. Is the company xenophobic and nationalistic?

7. Will Liviu return to his home country very soon, or will he stay longer?


A. I am an immigrant or migrant from another country. Yes or no? Do you have any friends who are migrants? Was moving a difficult decision for you, or were you very excited and enthusiastic?

B. Have many people from your country emigrated or migrated to other places? What are some popular destinations? Why did they move? What do they do abroad?

C. There are immigrants in my city or country. If yes, what do they do?

D. Is there a (great) demand for skilled and unskilled workers?

E. What might happen in the future?

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