A new study in Denmark shows that growing numbers of refugees have been joining the labour market, thanks to last year’s agreement between trade unions, employers and the government on a ‘basic integration education programme’ (integrationsgrunduddannelse, IGU).
The programme provides for refugees to take on short-term jobs at an apprentice-salary level of between 50 and 120 kroner (€6.7-16.1) per hour. IGU jobs can last for up to two years and refugees are offered skills development or education courses of up to 20 weeks.
Prior to the accord, only 3% of refugees were considered ready for immediate employment. Today, the figure stands at 60%, and is expected to rise. “The goal of the tripartite agreement is precisely to ensure that more refugees become able to support themselves and their families,” said the Deputy Director of the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri), Steen Nielsen.
The number of refugees getting work in Danish businesses rose by 75% last year, according to Dansk Industri figures, with 3,100 finding full-time employment between March and November.