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Businesses searching in vain for staff

Since 2015 the number of businesses searching in vain for employees has grown from 30% to 36%. This shortage of manpower is putting a brake on Danish growth and development, says the Confederation of Danish Industry.
Managing Director Claus Arbjerg, Hvidbjerg Vinduet, believes that businesses need to be more open to employing people who are not able to work full-time. 

Publiceret: 08.09.2016
Af Felix Bekkersgaard Stark mail

Only with great difficulty has Hvidbjerg Vinduet, a company based in Thyholm in Jutland, this year been able to recruit the additional employees it needs to meet the requirements of its burgeoning order book.

“This is our peak season and we have so many orders that have to go out. It is great when business goes well and we’ve been lucky enough to find the employees we need although it has been more difficult than usual to recruit unskilled labour,” says Managing Director Claus Arberg.

But many other businesses in the area and across Denmark have been unable to fill their vacancies.

In the Confederation of Danish Industry’s annual Local Business Climate survey, this year 36% of businesses responded that they have been searching for employees in vain. This is an increase compared to last year where only 30% of businesses responded in the same way.

Find out more about this year’s Local Business Climate survey (in Danish)

“It is a problem we need to solve. If businesses cannot find the right employees, they may be forced to move their investments and jobs out of the municipality and maybe even out of Denmark. That may have wide-ranging consequences for the inhabitants of the municipality as well as for Denmark as a whole,” says Director General Karsten Dybvad of the Confederation of Danish Industry.

See also: DI Indsigt newsletter: One in every three businesses searches for employees in vain (in Danish)

Recruiting from Germany and Poland

Claus Arberg from Hvidbjerg Vinduet is also the chairman of the Confederation of Danish Industry Mid-West. He finds that businesses are having difficulties recruiting unskilled, skilled and highly skilled labour across the board.

“I have just been to a meeting in the new Business Region Mid/West division where I heard major companies located around Herning, Ikast and Brande say that it was difficult for them to attract highly skilled labour. We have ourselves had difficulty finding unskilled workers and many companies say that they recruit both skilled and unskilled workers directly from Germany and Poland, for example,” says Claus Arberg.

He points out that the region is one of the areas in Denmark where unemployment is lower than the national average.

“Things are really moving in our area, and we have to make an extra effort to ensure that we are able to recruit enough people to meet our burgeoning order books. That is why businesses need to become better at making room for people who may not be able to take on a full-time job,” says Claus Arberg.

See also: Municipality business-friendliness hits record high

More skilled workers needed

Karsten Dybvad also believes that more needs to be done to ensure that people on the periphery of the job market get into work.
“But efforts in other areas are also required. The municipalities can help to get greater numbers of talented young people to apply for the vocational training that businesses are looking for. For example, industrial technicians and smiths specialising in technical areas. And it has to become easier for businesses to recruit qualified foreign nationals,” says Karsten Dybvad.

Three top tips for the municipalities
· Job centres
Job centres must increasingly work together across municipal borders, exchange information and work closely with local businesses. Only if they know the staff requirements of local businesses will they be able to help to get recipients of public benefits into work and to help businesses recruit new staff.

· Foreign staff

Municipalities must help businesses to make it as easy as possible to recruit foreign nationals to Denmark. They must be ready to help foreign nationals coming to Denmark to work. It is important that these newcomers feel welcome and that e.g. international schools, work for spouses and information in English are available to foreign families.

· Schools

Teachers and advisors in Danish schools must make it easier to inform older pupils and motivate them to train for jobs that businesses need. This may involve working with local businesses, taking pupils on visits to companies in the area, arranging work experience etc.
We have ourselves had difficulty finding unskilled workers and many companies say that they recruit both skilled and unskilled workers directly from Germany and Poland.
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PUBLISHED: 9/8/2016 LAST MODIFIED: 3/4/2017