Danish welfare courses that take place abroad are a potential solution to a serious lack of staff in elderly care, the CEO of DanAge, Bjarne Hastrup, told newspaper Berlingske.
Germany, Spain, India and the Phillippines are potential locations for the schools, according to the charity.
“And my question to politicians would be: ‘If you’re not going to do this, what are you going to do?’,” Hastrup told Berlingske.
In addition to giving students social care qualifications, the schools would also teach them the Danish language and culture, Hastrup suggests.
Nurses from India and the Phillippines should also be allowed to travel to Denmark and work in elderly care while waiting for the nursing qualifications to be authorised by Danish authorities, DanAge proposes.
If the foreign nurses are denied authorisation, they should then be offered an alternative nursing qualification, which they would be able to study for in Denmark while continuing to work in elderly care, the charity said.
The proposal comes as DanAge on Thursday hosted a debate with Danish political party leaders at which it hoped to push for more political action on the sector’s labour shortage.
DanAge also wants au pairs – who can be granted temporary work and residence permits in Denmark under special au pair rules – to be offered a new work permit on expiry of their au pair contracts so that they can opt to stay in Denmark and work in the elderly sector.
Hastrup told Berlingske that the idea of training future staff in schools based abroad could be transferred to other areas of the health service which are also experiencing labour shortages.
It is unclear at the current time whether the charity’s proposals will garner political backing or momentum.
Danish work permit rules for non-EU nationals are restrictive, with one of the most popular pathways, the Pay Limit Scheme, requiring employers to pay a minimum wage high enough to prevent hires in many social care roles.