Germany sees an influx of asylum seekers as an opportunity to save its economy, as the ageing country faces a looming skills shortage. Kirsty Basset reports.
Arriving in Berlin, in search of a new life. A record 800,000 refugees and economic migrants are expected to arrive in Germany this year. Many fleeing war-torn Syria. According to a new poll, the majority of Germans don't feel threatened by this. In fact, the influx may solve one of the biggest economic problems facing Germany - its looming skills shortage. CMC's Jasper Lawler. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CMC MARKETS ANALYST JASPER LAWLER SAYING: "The proportion of old to young people is getting to a situation where those in the workforce can't afford to pay for the pensions of the rest of them." Berlin expects its working age population to shrink by 6 million people by 2030, putting pressure on the economy. One solution, according to German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, is to quickly train up refugees and migrants. Some companies are starting to do this and are offering extra training places for refugees - many say it's a step in the right direction. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CMC MARKETS ANALYST JASPER LAWLER SAYING: "I do think it would be in the long term benefit of the country to have more skilled workers and improve the economy." But solving the crisis will require resources beyond Germany. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE SAYING: "In order to deal with the refugee situation we need more than ever an economically strong Europe which is capable of taking action." And more action will be needed. With the war in Syria showing no sign of abating, UNICEF says millions more refugees could soon be on their way to Europe.