Businesses asking for more international schools

Lack of international schools makes it hard for businesses to attract foreign workers

One in three businesses that employ a large number of foreign workers have experienced that the lack of international educational facilities has made it difficult to get foreign applicants to accept job offers. 

In a recent survey carried out by industry advocates Dansk Industri (DI), 25 percent of the respondents said the lack of space at international schools was a problem. 

“Educational facilities for foreign workers are definitely a necessity when attracting highly qualified workers,” said DI deputy director Charlotte Rønhof. “We need to make an extra effort to ensure the lack of educational facilities does not limit opportunities for our businesses.”

A major step
The prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, has promised that the government will offer municipalities better options for establishing international schools in areas that need them. 

A bill has been presented that will make it possible for municipalities to set up international schools. 

“This is a significant step forward, as up until now, only private concerns could establish and run international schools,” said Rønhof. 

Private international schools would receive the same grant as other private schools – about 71 percent of the amount that state schools receive. 

READ MORE: International schools growing after law change

“It is difficult and unprofitable to establish international schools unless there is a very strong need for them in the area,” said Rønhof. “There are areas where large international businesses have the financial muscle to provide sizeable grants toward founding schools, but there are other places that are also in need and should have access to facilities.”

Affordable options needed
Rønhof said that businesses believe that attracting foreign labour is of vital importance to creating growth.

She points out that some of the existing facilities are so expensive that foreign workers cannot afford to pay tuition fees on their own. 

“This is why it is essential for us to have more affordable options for immigrants and others who are looking for work in Denmark.”