Government seeks much greater mobility from job-seekers

New initiative proposes further screw-tightening when it comes to cutting unemployment and getting people off the dole

“Go West, young man” was the advice given to newcomers to America in the 19th century if they were willing to work hard and wanted to succeed in their new nation.

The Danish government seems to have taken a leaf from this book with a new package of initiatives, one of which tightens the requirements unemployed people have to fulfil when it comes to geographical mobility in search of jobs.

In future, unemployed people should be willing to move where the jobs are – regardless of distance, reports Politiken.

“At present, unemployed people with a middle or higher education can be met with stricter requirements if they are able to take up a job that is difficult for a company to fill. The government proposes to extend these requirements whatever the educational background of the unemployed person,” the initiative from the Ministry of Employment states.

This means in effect that job-seekers must look for and take jobs in the whole of Denmark, whatever the distance to and from work.

No legal compulsion
However, the needs of the family as a whole will still be taken into consideration and there will not be a legal requirement that a person moves to take up a job.

The government also wants to tighten the requirements in the same manner for people who have just completed their education.

READ ALSO: Far more young people on benefits in Denmark

“It doesn’t make sense that we have a high concentration of newly-qualified people in the bigger towns who are unemployed when there are jobs to be had in other parts of the country,” says the initiative.

The government proposes spending 100 million kroner on the 20 initiatives in the package this year and 50-60 million in the years to come.

Negotiations are continuing between the parties backing the employment reform as the measures will be partly financed by it.