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Foreign nationals to plug the shortfall of IT specialists in Denmark

Denmark is seeing a major shortfall of IT specialists and needs to attract IT staff from abroad. AIESEC has a queue of foreign nationals waiting to come to Denmark and is looking to match them with the right businesses.
At the end of his internship, Chirag Sharma from India was offered a permanent job with IT company ChurchDesk.

Publiceret: 25.08.2016
Af Laura Flader mail

Is your business short of IT specialists?

If so, you are not alone as many Danish businesses are finding it difficult to recruit IT graduates.

A report published by the Danish Business Authority has shown that Denmark will see a shortfall of approximately 19,000 IT specialists by 2030. This shortfall is being addressed by the non-profit organisation AIESEC.

AIESEC was founded in the wake of World War II to generate cultural understanding between different countries and to develop young managers. Today, the organisation puts young talent in touch with businesses across the world. In Denmark, a distinct trend can be seen in the type of graduate businesses are looking for.

“90% of the graduates that the Danish businesses we know about are in search of are IT specialists,” says Moniek van Waaijenburg, deputy country manager with AIESEC Danmark.

Denmark is a popular country

Once a business decides to approach AIESEC, the two sides set up a meeting to identify what the business wants and requires in an intern. AIESEC then prepares a list of suitable candidates.

When the right candidate has been found, AIESEC handles all the formalities and practical aspects prior to the start of the internship and provides continuous support. Most candidates are recent graduates under the age of 30 and internships run for six to 18 months.

27 AIESEC interns are currently working in Denmark. But while Denmark is an extremely popular country among interns, international IT graduates are not yet equally popular with Danish businesses.   

“Many people want to come to Denmark. But we need placements as we have about three times as many graduates who want to come as there are internships on offer in Denmark,” says Moniek van Waaijenburg, who believes that the reason for the shortage of internships is simply lack of knowledge that this option exists.

Businesses competing for Danish IT graduates

At ChurchDesk, a Danish IT company on Amager, the corporate language is English. The business, which develops administrative tools for churches, has had to recruit foreign nationals to its offices on Amager in order to keep up with rapid developments in the company.  

“We find that it is very difficult to recruit Danish IT graduates who are good enough. There are many IT graduates out there, but there are even more IT companies who want to get hold of the same graduates as we do,” says Matthias Haamann, CTO, ChurchDesk.

ChurchDesk took on its first AIESEC intern during the company’s start-up phase.  

“Now it is a question of gaining access to enough people. We recruit our interns with the aim of taking them on permanently when their internship is over. For us, the internship works as a kind of trial period before we offer our interns a permanent Danish contract,” says Matthias Haamann.

ChurchDesk, which was founded in 2012 and employs 22 staff in Denmark, has taken on six AIESEC interns of whom five were offered a permanent job when their internship ended. 

The Confederation of Danish Industry: the shortage of IT staff is a big problem.

A report published by the Danish Business Authority in May 2016 showed that Denmark will see a shortage of 19,000 IT specialists by 2030.

“Not enough IT specialists are being produced in Denmark. This is a very big and growing problem that comes on the back of sweeping digitisation. Many businesses are forced to recruit IT specialists from abroad, but everyone is competing for them as well. Many businesses will therefore be able to benefit from using AIESEC,” says Charlotte Rønhof, deputy director at the Confederation of Danish Industry.

It is important that Danish businesses are open to alternative ideas to enable them to recruit the staff they need. Because if they are not, this will not only affect Denmark at company level.

“The shortfall of a certain type of graduate is a vicious circle. It results in businesses not being able to win the contracts for Denmark that they would otherwise have been able to. Some may even be forced to move projects abroad which will, in turn, affect jobs and growth in Denmark,” says Charlotte Rønhof.

“The shortfall of a certain type of graduate is a vicious circle. It results in businesses not being able to win the contracts for Denmark that they would otherwise have been able to.
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PUBLISHED: 8/25/2016 LAST MODIFIED: 2/18/2017