At noon today the government released its long-awaited employment reform proposal that is aimed at finding jobs for the unemployed as quickly as possible via education and not job activation.
The prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said in a press conference that the reform will mean that the 330,000 Danes who go through the unemployment system annually will in future all enjoy tailor-made efforts designed for the individual.
“People are different and they should be treated differently when they’re in the employment system,” Thorning-Schmidt said in her speech. “We want an employment effort that focuses on the individual.”
In particular, unskilled and unemployed people over the age of 30 will be given an opportunity to take a two-year education leave while receiving 80 percent of their unemployment benefits, and regional pools will be established to upgrade specific groups of people.
“In total, it means that our proposal will help over 16,000 unskilled people educate themselves over the next five to six years. That’s a lot,” the prime minister said.
Focusing on education
The reform proposal aims to help 3,500 more people get a job before 2020, and the government has set aside 500 million kroner annually to educate unemployed people receiving benefits.
The reform also aims to bury the current job activation initiative that the government says wastes the time of the unemployed via control and useless activation jobs.
Instead, the job centres should spend their resources on the weakest in society, while the unemployment insurance providers (a-kasser) will become the first step to finding work. There must be a clear designation of tasks so that the job centres and a-kasser don’t perform the same tasks.
Furthermore, the job centres must increase their contact with local companies so they are aware of the job competencies in demand.
“We need to have focus on what works for the job seeker and for the companies,” Mette Frederiksen, the employment minister, said in a press release.
“And we need an employment system that once again is viewed as being a valuable support pillar for companies looking to recruit employees.”