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Copenhagen gets spouses of foreign nationals into work

Three out of four spouses of highly educated foreign nationals have found work after having completed a job programme in Copenhagen. The Municipality of Copenhagen will be spending almost DKK 1.5 million on similar initiatives over the next two years. 
In 2013 and 2014, the Municipality of Copenhagen launched two job programmes to help foreign students and spouses of highly educated foreign nationals find work. International House, where foreign nationals are offered assistance in managing all contact with the Danish authorities as well as help in their job search, is pictured above. Photo: Municipality of Copenhagen

Publiceret: 04.01.2017
Af Rikke Brøndum mail

Danish businesses pay dearly when foreign specialists leave Denmark because their spouse cannot find work.

That is why the Municipality of Copenhagen has worked to help accompanying spouses to find work since 2014.

The municipality’s own figures show that its initiatives have proven successful.

Three out of four who have secured subsidised employment or a traineeship through the so-called Copenhagen Career Programme have found an ordinary job within a year.

According to Employment Mayor Anna Mee Allerslev (Danish Social-Liberal Party), the municipality has taken its inspiration from Canada and she recommends that Denmark’s other large municipalities consider similar initiatives.

“The main reason that businesses cannot retain talented foreign nationals is that their spouse is dissatisfied. And as foreign specialists often have skills that businesses find hard to recruit in Denmark, this is just an investment which in the long run will benefit the municipality as a whole,” she says and explains that the municipality has set aside DKK 1.4 million for this purpose in its budget for 2017, a decision that all parties voted to adopt.

How can you know that the spouses would not have been able to find a job on their own?

“We have applied the same method that we normally use to measure employment initiatives and we see a significant difference compared to the period before we launched the programme. It is also on this basis that we have decided to extend the programme by a further two years.” 

See also: Denmarks is the world's best talent develeoper

The Confederation of Danish Industry: important for growth

Since 2013, the Municipality of Copenhagen has also had a similar programme in place to help international students find jobs in Denmark when they complete their degrees.

Figures published by the Confederation of Danish Industry have previously shown that only a third of recently graduated foreign nationals find work in the first year after graduation.

The assessment now shows that 74% of young people who participated in the career programme found jobs within the first year.

Manager of DI Global Talent Linda Duncan Wendelboe is pleased that both initiatives have proven effective.

“Specialists from abroad help to ensure that our businesses are able to grow because otherwise they would have a shortage of skilled employees. This may be in the area of IT where we are facing a possible huge shortage of talented developers. In the same way, foreign students are also a resource that we should be much better at retaining, not least because they arrive with a global network,” she says.

In November, DI Global Talent organised a major conference to raise awareness of the fierce global competition for the most talented employees.

An international survey conducted by the YouGov market research institute showed that many young people in countries such as Germany, the United States and China were unable to name more than one Danish company.

“We cannot take for granted that foreign nationals will elect to make their career in Copenhagen and that is why we can only support an initiative that contributes to retaining them here,” says Linda Duncan Wendelboe.

See also: Is Deutsche Bank from Denmark?

The main reason that businesses cannot retain talented foreign nationals is that their spouse is dissatisfied.
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PUBLISHED: 1/4/2017 LAST MODIFIED: 1/4/2017