Publiceret: 22.09.2016Af Laura Flader mail
In recent years, Denmark has welcomed many refugees, refugees who need to integrate into and become part of Danish society.
Historically, these new citizens have found it difficult to get a foot in the door in the Danish job market. But a new scheme – the Basic Integration Programme (IGU – Integrationsgrunduddannelse) – has been designed to help refugees into the job market.
“Finding a job means that you are able to support yourself and learn the language and learn about Danish culture. Access to the job market is the quickest way into Danish society. That is why we applaud the aim of the Basic Integration Programme which is to ensure that refugees attain the skills and linguistic ability over a period of two years to enable them to start vocational training or take up employment on an equal footing with other employees,” says Deputy Director Steen Nielsen from the Confederation of Danish Industry.
One of the first businesses to make use of the Basic Integration Programme is Norisol which has offices in several locations in Denmark. On Thursday, 1 September, they signed a contract under the Basic Integration Programme with 21-year-old Mohammad Al-Saadi from Syria.
“As a resource, the Basic Integration Programme and refugees represent a source of growth for Norisol that allows us to expand and take on more projects. Like many other businesses in Denmark, we are struggling to recruit the manpower we need,” says Carsten Hoeck, CEO of Norisol.
Norisol has signed eight contracts under the scheme. Carsten Hoeck believes that society benefits from refugees entering the job market as soon as possible, but the greatest motivation for Norisol is staff recruitment.
“We are a business that was set up mainly to service our customers so recruitment is our basic motivation. That is why there is a very high probability that we will offer our trainees a permanent job once they complete their training,” says Carsten Hoeck.
Mohammad Al-Saadi who enjoys physical work and dreams of becoming a permanent employee with Norisol when he completes his basic integration training is extremely motivated.
“Of course, I will start work at Norisol when I complete my training. I like my colleagues, my boss – and it is active. If I had not been given this opportunity, I would probably have opened a corner shop,” says Mohammad Al-Saadi, trainee on the Basic Integration Programme.
To sign up a refugee under the Basic Integration Programme, three things are required: you have to find a refugee (something job centres can assist with), have a training plan in place and prepare an employment contract.
“Businesses interested in making a contribution to society would be suitable candidates for offering a refugee training under the Basic Integration Programme. The idea is that on completion of their two years of training refugees will have acquired the skills to work on an equal footing with other employees,” says Deputy Director Steen Nielsen from the Confederation of Danish Industry.
Refugees on the Basic Integration Programme
The Basic Integration Programme (IGU – Integrationsgrunduddannelse) is a pilot scheme designed for refugees.
The scheme was launched on 1 July 2016 and is set to run for the next three years. The scheme offers a two-year traineeship in which the refugee undergoes training for a total of 20 weeks and works in a business for the remaining period. The business and the refugee agree the terms of employment and a training plan themselves, but are eligible for assistance from their municipality, e.g. the municipality will initially put the two parties in touch with each other.
On completion of the two-year traineeship, refugees must be ready either to work in the business on an equal footing with other employees or to take up further training. Trainees must have lived in Denmark for less than five years and be aged between 18 and 40.
The framework for the Basic Integration Programme is in place. Application forms are available to download from the Danish Ministry of Immigration, Integration and Housing website.
The Danish authorities are on hand to advise on the use of the scheme.
The Confederation of Danish Industry has set up a team to help with advice and guidance on employment contracts, training plans etc. Further information can be found on the Confederation of Danish Industry website