A green card to a grey zone

Only a fraction of the qualified professionals who come to Denmark to find a job end up getting one; most end up in menial employment or give up

Noma unseated from its number one position (photo: Antissimo)
November 2nd, 2013 7:12 am| by admin
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The Danish Green Card Scheme has attracted around 8,000 well-qualified workers to Denmark since its inception in 2007, but only a scant few of them have landed in the jobs they came here for.

Many of them say there are no employment options beyond menial work, and that the government did not properly prepare the host society and local businesses before launching the scheme.

“The Danish politicians are afraid of losing the votes of the right-wing, conservative and jobless Danish citizens by telling them that a new wave of well-qualified immigrants is on the way,” Ida Sofie Matzen, a PhD student who is an expert on Sufism in Pakistan, said. “So this kind of thing was most likely done on the quiet.”

In 2010, a study conducted by Rambøll for the then Immigration Ministry revealed that only 28 percent of these well-qualified immigrants were able to find a job that could benefit from their professional skills. Of the rest, 43 percent were surviving in unskilled labour and 29 percent were jobless.

But even the 28 percent ‘success’ rate can be questioned.

READ MORE: Green card programme a failure, politicians say

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