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WORKING IN DENMARK

Denmark cuts back on ‘positive list’ of jobs eligible for work permits

Denmark has cut 15 job titles from its two positive lists of in-demand professions or trades eligible for work permits.

Denmark cuts back on 'positive list' of jobs eligible for work permits
Welders are on the positive list of skilled workers. Here one works on a wind turbine at Vestas' factory in Esbjerg. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) at the start of this year released a new “Positive List for People with a Higher Education”, which reduced the number of eligible job titles to 40 from the 46 which were on the list valid from July 1st until the end of 2022. 

The number of job titles in the “Positive List for Skilled Work“, meanwhile, has been reduced from 46 to 36.

The new lists will apply to anyone seeking a work permit between January 1st this year and the end of June. 

READ ALSO: How can you get a work permit in Denmark if you are not an EU national?

For people from countries outside the EU, the positive lists represent one of the best routes to a job in Denmark, with the first list outlining the qualified professions in demand in Denmark, and the second the skilled trades where there is a shortage of qualified labour. 

If someone from outside the EU has been offered a job in Denmark in any of the professions on these lists, they can apply for a work permit through the scheme. 

Siri updates the two lists twice a year on January 1st and July 1st on the basis of the Arbejdsmarkedsbalancen or “labour market balance”, prepared by the The Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment, also biannually. 

The Arbejdsmarkedsbalancen lists which job titles are currently experiencing severe labour shortages, labour shortages, which are employable, and which are less employable. 

You can find the positive list from last July for people with higher education here, and the positive list from last July for people with skilled jobs here

As of January 1st this year, the following job titles are on the positive list: 

POSITIVE LIST FOR PEOPLE WITH HIGHER EDUCATION

Managers in the field of production and service: 

  • Head of product. Bachelor’s degree required. 

Natural Science and Engineering

  • Chemist: Master’s degree
  • Biologist: Master’s degree
  • Mechanical Engineer: Professional Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree
  • Civil Engineer: Professional Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree
  • Environmental Engineer: Professional Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree
  • Electronics Engineer: Professional Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree
  • Town Planner: Master’s degree

Healthcare 

  • Medical Doctor: Master’s degree + Danish authorization
  • Hospital Doctor;´: Master’s degree + Danish authorization
  • Nurse: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish authorization
  • Veterinarian: Master’s degree + Danish authorization
  • Dentist: Master’s degree + Danish authorization
  • Physiotherapist: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish authorization
  • Occupational therapist: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish authorization

Education

  • Ph.D, Social Sciences: Master’s degree
  • Assistant Professor at a University College: Master’s degree
  • Subject Teacher at a Vocational Upper Secondary Education: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish official recognition
  • Upper Secondary School Teacher, Natural Sciences and Sports: Master’s degree + Danish official recognition
  • Independent School Teacher: Professional Bachelor’s degree
  • Primary School Teacher: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish official recognition
  • Child Care Worker/Support Worker: Professional Bachelor’s degree
  • Social Education Worker: Professional Bachelor’s degree
  • Special Education Teacher: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish official recognition

Economics, administration and sales

  • Auditor: Master’s degree
  • Accounting Controller: At least three years education at bachelor level
  • Financial Analyst: At least three years education at bachelor level

IT and communications technology

  • IT Architect: At least three years IT education at bachelor level
  • IT Engineer: At least three years IT education at bachelor level
  • IT Project Leader: At least three years education at university or business school level
  • IT Consultant: At least three years IT education at bachelor level
  • Programmer and System Developer: At least three years IT education at bachelor level
  • System Administrator: At least three years IT education at bachelor level

Law, social science and culture  

  • Legal Officer: Master’s degree
  • Psychologist: Master’s degree + Danish official recognition
  • Social Worker: Professional Bachelor’s degree
  • Priest: Master’s degree
  • Organist, cantor: At least three years education at bachelor level

Technician work in science, engineering, shipping and aviation 

  • Architectural Technology and Construction Manager: Professional Bachelor’s degree

Technicians and assistants in healthcare 

  • Dental hygienist: Professional Bachelor’s degree + Danish authorisation

POSITIVE LIST FOR SKILLED WORK

Science and Engineering Associate Professionals 

  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Geotechnician
  • Plumber
  • Machine Constructor
  • Foreman

Business and administration associate professionals

  • Import and Export Employee
  • Sales and Account Manager
  • Sales Consultant
  • Shipping Agent
  • Property Manager
  • Logistic Employee, sales and purchasing
  • Legal Secretary
  • Medical Secretary

Legal, social, cultural and related associate professions

  • Parish Clerk
  • Head Chef

General and Secretary Clerks 

  • Lead Office Clerk
  • Office Assistant

Numerical and material recording clerks

  • Bookkeeper
  • Bookkeeping and Accounting Clerk
  • Payroll Bookkeeper

Personal services workers 

  • Chef 

Personal care workers 

  • Social and Health Care Assistant: Danish authorisation

Market-oriented skilled agricultural workers 

  • Landscape Gardener

Building and related trades (excluding electricians) 

  • Bricklayer
  • Carpenter
  • Building Painter and Decorator

Metal, machinery and related trades workers

  • Welder
  • Blacksmith
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Industrial Technician
  • CNC-operator
  • Mechanic, passenger cars and vans
  • Crane Mechanic, agriculture and industrial machines
  • Agricultural Machinery Mechanic

Electrical and electronic trade workers 

  • Electrician

Food processing, wood working, garment making and other craft-related trade workers

  • Cabinetmaker

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WORKING IN DENMARK

Copenhagen Municipality to trial four-day working week

Selected municipal staff in Copenhagen will soon be able to choose to distribute their weekly working hours over four days in a new trial scheme.

Copenhagen Municipality to trial four-day working week

The city government’s residents’ council (borgerrepræsentation) has voted to bring in a trail scheme that will provide for four-day working weeks from 2024, according to local media TV2 Kosmopol.

The decision means that shorter weeks – with additional hours fitted into the four working days – will be an option at several departments in the municipality, which is Denmark’s largest local government with 45,000 staff.

The trial will go ahead provided a majority accepts it as part of next year’s budget, which will be finalised in the autumn.

It will take the form of an initial one-year trial scheme with the option of extension to also include 2025.

Trade union Djøf told news wire Ritzau it took a positive view of the project.

“Many people appreciate having an extra day when they can pick up the kids early or get some errands done which you need time for during the day,” chairperson Sara Vergo said.

A survey by the trade union last year found that 64 percent of staff and 65 percent of managers would consider implementing a four-day working week in some form.

The Copenhagen Municipality proposal went through without a vote because all parties were in favour.

The decision does not mean city employees will be working fewer hours. Instead, they will distribute their existing hours over four days.

The municipality would not be allowed by law to pay staff for a full 37-hour week if they have only worked 30 hours, it said.

While parties agreed on the trial, there was some disagreement over its exact form, TV2 Kosmopol writes.

The Social Democratic and Socialist People’s Party (SF) representatives wanted the trial to be implemented in April, rather than waiting until next year.

Copenhagen is not the first Danish municipality to experiment with a four-day week. Other local governments have in recent years trialled shorter weeks and a higher degree of flexibility over staff hours.

“We know that there’s a relatively large stress crisis in Denmark and that one of the remedies against this is to spend less time at work and more flexible working hours,” Troels Christian Jakobsen of the Alternative party, who tabled the proposal for the Copenhagen scheme, said to Ritzau.

“We didn’t succeed on this occasion on getting fewer working hours. There are a load of rules that prevent that,” he said.

“But we have certainly met our goal on giving a more flexible framework for the work and we have a strong sense that this can help to improve job satisfaction,” he said.

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