IDA: Foreign labor proposal is one step forward and two steps back

The Danish Government has presented a proposal that will make it easier for companies to recruit foreign labor. The proposal does not address the lack of highly educated with technical and scientific skills, IDA believes.

The proposals presented by the government earlier this month - including a reduction in the amount scheme for citizens from selected countries - makes no difference in attracting highly skilled and specialized labor, "Juliane Marie Neiiendam, chairman of the Employee Council of the Engineering Association, IDA thinks.

"Basically, we believe that the arrangements found today are good enough to attract highly educated with technical and scientific insights. It is important to understand that the size of the amount and high-skilled, specialized foreign labor is not on a collision course. A foreign engineer who comes in karambolage with the amount scheme, as it is today, will be an underpaid engineer, "says Juliane Marie Neiiendam.

"If the robot engineer is from China, Ukraine or Pakistan does not matter to the individual company. They want the best suitable from an assessment of who has the best qualifications. And if the qualifications are alright, the color of your passport is also indifferent, "says Juliane Marie Neiiendam.

She is annoyed that there is no red thread in the political announcements in this important area.

"We see a lot of hopes on the spot in this area. The government has not only laid down the number of foreign students - it has cut the number down with 1,000 study places. A few years ago, it abolished the green card scheme just as it had begun to work as intended".

"It is always one step ahead and two back. We must understand that we are in sharp competition with almost all other countries about the wise minds.And what we need is to market all of Denmark as an attractive country to settle and work for foreign knowledge workers. We know that many resident, highly educated expats are excited about our work-life balance".

"On the other hand, they call for more international schools, and we must also ensure that there are also job and network opportunities for the spouse who most likely accompanies this specialized workforce.It's the kind of handle we need to turn on to succeed in attracting foreign knowledge workers," says Juliane Marie Neiiendam.

Read about the Government's initiative on strengthened recruitment of foreign labor (in danish)