Denmark considers ‘fast-track’ system for Ukrainians with job offers

Denmark’s government said on Monday that it was interested in a ‘fast-track’ scheme to speed the path onto the labour market for refugees from Ukraine.

danish Employment minister Peter Hummelgaard
Employment minister Peter Hummelgaard (centre) attends a conference related to employment of Ukrainian refugees in Denmark, April 4th 2022. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

The minister for employment, Peter Hummelgaard, outlined the government’s intention following talks with labour organisations and businesses.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv, DE) proposed such an arrangement at the meeting, news wire Ritzau writes.

Several DE member companies already have agreements in place to hire Ukrainians but are waiting to receive relevant permits, the business interest group said.

“We will have to assess this legally and technically. But we acknowledge the proposal and do not in principle think it’s a bad idea,” Hummelgaard said.

“But we certainly need to look into whether it stands up legally to do be able to do that within the systems,” he said.

Waiting times for processing applications for residence and work permits are inevitable for Ukrainians arriving in Denmark following the invasion of their country by Russia, the minister also stated.

DE said that companies wanted the process to be sped up.

“It’s a very regrettable situation: Businesses need good people and good people are available to work. There’s an agreement that the two sides match but the CPR [personal registration, ed.] number and tax card are not in place,” DE labour market manager Peter Halkjær said in a statement.

“We have received various reports of this kind and therefore propose a fast-track scheme so that the relevant persons go to the front of the queue for these things,” he said.

READ ALSO: Denmark creates jobs website for Ukraine refugees

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Demand for labour remains high in Denmark with employment up for 14th straight month

Denmark’s labour market remains on a trend which has seen the number of people in paid employment in the country grow month-on-month since early 2021.

Demand for labour remains high in Denmark with employment up for 14th straight month

New data from national agency Statistics Denmark shows that the number of people in paid employment increased by 16,000 between February and March this year and now stands at 2,947,000. The data is corrected for variations caused by work that is season-dependent.

The new figures represent the 14th consecutive month in which the number of people working in Denmark has increased.

Additionally, more people are in work now compared to just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, with a knock-on effect on the economy and jobs.

145,000 more people are hired now than just before the Covid-19 crisis, senior economist with Sydbank, Mathias Dollerup Sproegel, told news wire Ritzau.

“The labour market continues to be a ray of sunshine in the Danish economy,” Sproegel said.

“Aside from record-high employment, unemployment is also close to the record-low from before 2008. That tells us that the labour force has been strengthen somewhat in recent years,” he said.

“That is due to earlier political reforms and an active effort to bring all available hands in the Danish economy into play,” he said.

READ ALSO: How Danish work permit rules are keeping out skilled foreigners living in Sweden

Another analyst, senior economist Lars Olsen with Danske Bank, said the figures evidenced that it is still possible to find staff to fill the many available positions on the labour market.

“This suggests that there are still reserves to draw on, probably among students and people who have not previously had a strong connection to the labour market,” he said in a written comment.

“It would also seem to help that the age of the state pension has been put up again this year, so nobody will reach pension age during the first half of this year,” he said.

READ ALSO: Could Denmark delay plan to increase retirement age?

Hotels and restaurants are among sectors which saw the strongest growth in employment in March, with over 5,500 new hires giving an increase of 4.6 percent.

Culture and leisure also saw notable growth at 3.3 percent or 1,900 people.