Denmark loses the battle for high-skilled immigrants

Denmark desperately need highly skilled foreign workers but worrisome get educated choose to Denmark


The Nordic countries will in future be in a big and very urgent problem.Shortages of highly skilled labor. Now is the demographic development, with many older and fewer young strike, and Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland are therefore forced to obtain outside help. The same trend taking place across Europe, and aid must therefore increasingly coming from countries outside Europe.

The task of the Nordic welfare state will be to build systems that ensure that they can attract the necessary manpower, without destroying the well-organized, local labor markets. A gigantic task that is no less complicated by the fact that the current economic crisis for a short time blurs the reality that North lacks manpower and will do so for many years to come.

How do the Nordic countries handle the situation analyzed in a 127-page report from the Nordic Council of Ministers ‘Recruitment of qualified workers from third countries to the North – Choice, strategies and realities’. The report presented today at a meeting in the Black Diamond in Copenhagen.

Denmark goes it alone

Politicians in the Nordic countries have seen the writing on the wall and has since 2006 begun to ease the access to immigration of skilled labor.The rule is that immigration can only take place if the workforce can not be found locally or in another EU- or EEA country (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).

The principle is also that immigrants from for example China or India have access only to the North to fill a particular job. Interestingly enough, Denmark is at the point gone further than the other Nordic countries.

Denmark has opened a ” green cardscheme after inspiration from Canada.It gives people from third countries to offer their labor in the Danish labor regardless of whether there is a definite job offer. It should be noted that this scheme only a very limited extent been used.

Denmark is also under rapproten especially the fact that: “Denmark is the only country developed a real strategy in practice around the active recruitment and promotion of Denmark abroad and has, among other things established a Work in Denmark Center in India.”

In other words, Denmark is the country in Scandinavia, where the state’s most actively promoting the country as attractive to come to.

In Sweden, Norway and Finland, recruitment of foreign workers primarily at company level.

Such an apparently visionary Danish immigration policy also seems to be necessary. All the Nordic countries since 2003 had an increased inflow of foreign labor.

But when you look at the inflow of labor from third countries, Denmark is weakest.Both Norway and Sweden in particular, has much more work and residence permits than Denmark. The same is true for high skilled workers, who seem to steer clear of Denmark. The report compares the number of engineers who come to Sweden and Denmark. Every time there is four to Sweden, Denmark receives only a single. A sad situation, since Denmark already in 2015 is expected to be missing around 7,600 engineers.

About the two countries ‘ability to attract foreign workers, the report says that’ it is remarkable that Sweden has been much better to attract labor from third countries than Denmark. And further states: “An immediate explanation for this may be the tightening of the regulatory framework for access to Denmark from countries which were implemented in 2002.”

The report shows that Denmark in several respects different from the other Nordic countries.

The authorities do much both to attract skilled migrants, and if they finally come here to support the integration of the entire family. But one of the reasons for the limited success of efforts can be the following thought-provoking reflection that concludes the report: “There is an inherent paradox in that, on the one hand, an end in itself to try to get the skilled labor to be prolonged, while access schemes provide temporary work and residence permit. ”



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