Employment minister: job activation a waste of time and money

Minister calls for an end to “senseless activation”

The employment minister, Mette Frederiksen (Socialdemokraterne), is calling for an end to council-run job activation schemes in which the unemployed are forced to attend remedial job-seeking courses in exchange for their unemployment benefits.

Frederiksen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper that the current plan is the “system from hell” where some people are forced to attend the exact same job search course as many as five times.

“High quality job search courses offering guidance on how to secure a job are fine,” Frederiksen told Jyllands-Posten. “But taking the same course five times is a waste of people’s time and taxpayers' money.”

Frederiksen said her ministry will propose an amendment to the current law that requires the unemployed to show up at job centres and take every course that the councils say they must attend. If the amendment is adopted, job seekers will have the right to refuse a job search course if they have already attended one.

“The way the law is written now, people waste time attending a course they have already been to, when they could be doing something more productive,” said Frederiksen.

The minister said that the unemployed would be better served by taking skills-specific courses or upgrading their education and training. If the amendment is passed, it will apply to everyone regardless of age. Frederiksen didn't give a timeframe for the changes.