‘Over a quarter’ of Ukrainian refugees in Denmark now working

Over 4,200 Ukrainian refugees are now working in Denmark, with the employment rate in the group quickly increasing.

'Over a quarter' of Ukrainian refugees in Denmark now working
Ukraine's flag flying at Christiansborg, Copenhagen in March 2022. Refugees from Ukrainian are finding increasing employment in Denmark. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Over 2,500 people from Ukraine have entered employment since May, when the total number employed was 1,645. It rose to 2,724 in July and is now 4,290.

The figures come from the Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment.

Overall, more than a quarter of Ukrainian refugees who have been granted residence in Denmark and are of working age are now employed, broadcaster DR reports.

The employment data shows an increasing rate of success for Ukrainians looking for work in the country, an analyst said.

“There are actually 2,500 people who have found work since May, so that’s a big jump forward,” labour researcher and professor at Roskilde University Bent Greve told  DR. 

“Combined with the fact that they have mainly found jobs in hotels, restaurants, agriculture and cleaning, this has helped to reduce the pressure on the Danish labour market,” he said.

Employment minister Peter Hummelgaard welcomed the data.

“If you compare with some of the other major refugee flows Denmark has received over the years, this is very, very good and very, very many people have successfully found work,” Hummelgaard told DR.

The data shows variation in employment rates for Ukrainian refugees in different municipalities.

More than half of Ukrainians in South Jutland municipality Tønder are currently registered as working. In Frederikssund, the figure is around 10 percent.

Hummelgaard said he had no obvious explanation for this variation but suggested that some municipalities may have more jobs in which Danish language proficiency is not needed. There are also differences in the number of Ukrainians settled in different municipalities.

“I’d rather not stand here and conclude that it’s because some municipalities aren’t good enough, but it’s certainly something we should analyse more closely,” he said.

“It’s not the intention that you should have better conditions for getting a job should because you live in one municipality rather than another,” he said.

Greve said it was unlikely that all Ukrainians will eventually find work. This is due to a number of factors, including plans to return home, language issues, trauma or a lack of training, he said to DR.

But there is potential for the current number to be improved upon with the right measures from job centres, municipalities and businesses, he said.

“Companies should be even more aware than they have been that labour can be found by going out to job centres,” he said.

“And there are also several municipalities that, very sensibly, are offering courses to get some of these Ukrainians into welfare areas within the public sector, where there is also a labour shortage,” he said.

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Germany, Denmark and Norway to give Ukraine howitzers

Germany, Denmark and Norway will supply Ukraine with 16 armoured howitzer artillery systems from next year, Berlin said Sunday, as Kyiv seeks heavier weapons to boost its fightback against Russia.

Germany, Denmark and Norway to give Ukraine howitzers

The announcement came after German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht visited Ukraine this weekend for the first time since Moscow’s invasion in February.

Germany, Denmark and Norway had agreed to jointly finance the procurement of the Slovakian Zuzana-2 guns at a cost of 92 million euros ($90.2 million), said the defence ministry in Berlin.

They will be produced in Slovakia, with delivery to Ukraine to begin in 2023, it said.

The new pledge still falls short of what Ukraine has been asking for. Kyiv has repeatedly sought Leopard battle tanks from Germany, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government has refused.

Scholz has said he does not want to go it alone on arms supplies and will only take decisions in consultation with his Western allies.

Speaking on public broadcaster ARD, Lambrecht again defended Berlin’s weapons deliveries to Ukraine, insisting Germany was doing a lot to support Kyiv.

“We will continue to engage in a variety of ways and will again — as we have up until now — work together with partners,” she told the “Bericht aus Berlin” show.

She also insisted that Germany would not become a direct party to the conflict.

“It is very clear — for the German government as well as the whole of NATO: We will not become a party to the war,” Lambrecht said.

Her visit Saturday to the southern port city of Odessa came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

The annexations were unanimously condemned by Ukraine’s allies, including Germany.

Lambrecht described how air raid sirens went off during her visit.

“We experienced that twice in a few hours, and had to move to a bunker. And for people there, that is reality,” she told the ARD show. “That is everyday life.”