A leading research institute has claimed that foreigners from outside the Nordic region must be encouraged to join Denmark’s workforce.
The country requires a minimum of 100,000 foreign workers over the next eight years if it is to maintain its competitive position in the international marketplace, according to a new study commissioned by the Immigration Service. The report was compiled by the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies.
Report author and researcher Sally Khallash said that Denmark could no longer rely on its usual helpers. “Countries like Germany, Poland and Sweden have the same demographic challenges as us with fewer young people and more elderly and, as a result, will experience the same lack of workforce as us. We must focus more on countries that have a relatively high level of education, but where the opportunities in that particular country are limited,” Khallash told the Copenhagen Post.
According to the study, Denmark is particularly lacking in highly educated workers, such as biotechnology experts and engineers. The number of work permits issued to skilled foreigners has grown significantly since 2004, with 3,600 handed out last year.
“We’re dependant on them coming, which is why we must prepare for it both legally and mentally,” said Khallash. She also called for a review of complicated immigration regulations, an increase of international school places and a move away from Danish language-dependent workplaces.