Refugees could plug the gaps in the German care industry, the director of German's main nursing conference told dpa Sunday.
"I see an opportunity in the refugee crisis for care in Germany," Juergen Graalmann said ahead of the annual convention in Berlin March 10-12.
There were over 1 million new applications for asylum in Germany in 2015, more than four times the previous year's figure.
Refugees who remain in Germany could help to close the great gaps in staffing in the care industry, he said, adding that the government needed to make a long-term plan for the future of nursing.
"Of course it is a prerequisite that the refugees have a willingness and an aptitude for the demanding career of nursing," Graalmann said.
Graalmann said that many refugees did not understand care for the elderly as it was practised in Germany, but in the regions where many of them come from - such as Afghanistan or Syria - "there is still a very, very strong concept of family care."
"Care has a significantly higher and social significance as is the case here with us," he said.