Copenhagen’s international students and spouses finding employment thanks to municipal courses

Thanks to initiatives started at International House Copenhagen in 2013 and 2014, their job prospects are booming

Job programs launched by Copenhagen Municipality are boosting the employment prospects of former foreign students and the spouses of highly-skilled international workers.

Since their respective launches in 2013 and 2014, the employment rates of those enrolled on the Canadian-inspired courses have been 74 and 75 percent within a year of completion.

Stopping the brain drain
The municipality, which intends to spend another 1.4 million kroner on the initiatives over the next year, launched the programs to address the drain of talent seen when international students educated in Denmark leave the country, and when highly-skilled international workers depart because their spouses failed to find work.

Figures compiled by Dansk Industri, the confederation of Danish industry, had previously shown that only a third of foreign graduates find work within a year of completing their education.

Just five hours a week
The six-month international student program, the Greater Copenhagen Career Programme, was launched at International House Copenhagen in 2013. It provides seminars, workshops, mentors and network opportunities to students, who tend to participate for about five hours a week.

And since 2014, the Copenhagen Career Programme at International House Copenhagen has been similarly educating the spouses of highly-skilled international workers, often finding them internships or subsidised employments.

Super for spouses
Copenhagen’s deputy mayor for employment, Anna Mee Allerslev was impressed, telling Dansk Industri that Denmark’s other large municipalities should all consider pursuing similar initiatives.

“There’s been a significant difference compared to the period before we launched the program,” she said in reference to the the Copenhagen Career Programme.

“The main reason that businesses cannot retain talented foreign nationals is that their spouse is dissatisfied. And as foreign specialists often have skills that businesses find hard to recruit in Denmark, this is just an investment which in the long run will benefit the municipality as a whole.”

Splendid for students
Linda Duncan Wendelboe, the head of Dansk Industri Global Talent, was similarly happy with the foreign student results.

“Foreign students are a resource that we should be much better at retaining, not least because they arrive with a global network,” she said

“We cannot take it for granted that foreign nationals will decide to pursue a career in Copenhagen, and that is why we can only support an initiative that contributes to retaining them here.”

  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.