Manufactures ‘should look to retrain Danish workers’

Danish companies are being urged to retrain local employees amid a trend of outsourcing work in the effort of securing cheap labour.

Last week alone, two manufacturing giants, Royal Copenhagen and Fritz Hansen, announced that they will be moving production outside of the country. This has prompted media agencies and some leftist business leaders to ask manufacturers to take a closer look at the issue and reintroduce the idea of keeping labour within Denmark.

Commentators from the Copenhagen-based Politiken newspaper said that the practice of outsourcing was a “losing strategy”, whilst Jacob Holm, chief executive of furniture firm Fritz Hansen, remained firm that taxes and labour costs in Denmark were far too high for his company to remain viable.

Copenhagen Business School (CBS) professor Kim Sundtoft Hald said, “The new trend is that typically Danish brand names are leaving the country. Before, these companies thought it could hurt their brands to be produced outside of Denmark. We can never go back to competing with other countries in labour-intensive businesses,” the Copenhagen Post reports.

Despite the trend, which is mirrored throughout most of Western Europe, statistics also show that Denmark continues to grow whilst outsourcing. The Institute for International Economics reported that from 2002 to 2005, around 23 percent of all Danish business had sent work abroad, whilst about 30 percent had created jobs within the country.