Government proposes international recruitment reforms

Proposals intended to strengthen Danish companies’ ability to compete on the global stage

The government has made extensive reform proposals to improve international recruitment, companies’ ability to recruit qualified highly skilled foreigners is deemed imperative.

“Companies competing on the global market are an important part of the foundation for our welfare society,” Mette Frederiksen, the employment minister, said in a press release.

Recruitment fast track
A new fast track initiative is proposed to permit speedy access to highly qualified foreign workers.

“In order to begin projects, companies often need international labour quickly – or they risk missing out on business. So applications should be processed flexibly, quickly and with no bureaucracy,” the proposal states.

The fast track initiative would allow new employees to commence work in Denmark as soon as they apply for a residence and work permit.

Green card reform
But, while some foreigners would see their applications fast-tracked, life would become more difficult for others. It is proposed that the green card scheme become more stringent to ensure that incoming labour increasingly compliments job market demands.

“Many of the people who are in Denmark via a green card today work in industries that are considered unskilled and the government will focus the initiative so that the incoming labour increasingly compliments the companies' need for qualified labour,” according to the proposals.

The permit’s longevity would be shortened, the language competency requirements tightened and more stringent criteria applied for being granted an extension.

Incentives for researchers
The proposals also underline the need for attracting researchers and 'key employees'.

“The rules for foreign researchers are currently too inflexible,” the proposal stated. “For instance, researchers can’t work alternately in Denmark and abroad without losing their residence permit.

At the same time the residence is narrowly connected to one specific position with one specific employer.”

Foreign entrepreneurs
The government is also considering a Start-up Denmark initiative to provide foreign entrepreneurs with residence permits so they can enter the country and start a business.

Entrepreneurs with potential would be offered a two-year residence permit, with the possibility of an additional three-year extension. A committee of carefully chosen individuals would assess the start-up plans.

Positive reception
The local government organisation, KL, commended the proposals.

“It will make the case processing easier and ensure that the companies can quickly obtain the required resources,” Jacob Bundsgaard, the head of KL’s labour market and business council, said in a press release.
Finn R. Larsen, head of the Danish confederation of professional associations, Akademikerne, also praised the proposals.

“The government’s plan of action is very pleasing in this very important matter concerning international recruitment,” Larsen said in a press release. “It is essential for the retaining and development of innovative companies in Denmark that the recruitment of international specialists is made easier and quicker.”

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