Only one out of every ten refugees ready to go to work

May 4th, 2015

This article is more than 9 years old.

Politicians want refugees to work more for their money, but research says they are not ready

The employment minister, Henrik Dam Kristensen, says that refugees should be eased into the workplace (photo: Johannes Jansson)

Fewer than one out of every ten refugees are ready to take a job, according to figures from the Ministry of Employment’s database, jobinsats.dk. Of the 9,132 people currently on social assistance who have started the three-year integration program, only 246 people – three percent – are categorised as ‘job ready’.

The largest group – 88 percent – are called ‘activity ready’, which means they have problems other than unemployment, such as post-traumatic stress issues. The working status of the other 814 refugees is listed as “unknown”.

Deeply traumatised
Last week, the government presented its bill on integration with a minimum requirement that refugees and families applying for reunification must work ten hours a week – for example as interns.

READ MORE: New agreement to speed up integration of refugees

Majbrit Berlau, the head of social advice group Socialrådgivernes, said she believes politicians create an unrealistic picture of how many refugees can handle going to work.

“It is a political hot potato, and politicians would like a quick fix,” Berlau told Jyllands-Posten. “We are talking about people who are deeply traumatised.”

Eased into the workplace
Henrik Dam Kristensen, the employment minister, said those who are listed as ‘activity ready’ should be eased back into the workplace.

“We should not set a minimum number of hours for such a mixed group – some of whom have post-traumatic disorders,” Kristensen told Jyllands-Posten.

“If you try to impose minimum hours, it could go very wrong.”


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