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Foreign academics end up washing dishes

DANISH NEWS - A third of all international academics who come to Denmark to seek work end up doing jobs like dishwashing and cleaning

A new study by the Kraka think-tank reveals that although the Danish business sector is constantly crying out for skilled employees, it’s not all who fit the bill, reports Seven59.dk and b.dk.

One in three academics from East European or non-EU countries who arrive here without a job end up doing menial work. And for highly skilled non-EU citizens with a degree in fields such as social sciences or humanities the statistics are even worse – over half find work far below their qualifications.

Kraka economist Kristian Thor Jakobsen said the figures indicate a ‘mismatch’ between the needs of companies and the skills that educated immigrants can offer. Employment Minister Mette Frederiksen said there could be a need to reform the ‘green card’ scheme, which was introduced in the ‘00’s’ when there was a lack of skilled manpower, but is today the only way for non-EU immigrants to gain residency in Denmark without a job.

Nothing wrong

Top business leaders are divided on the green card issue – Flemming Poulsen, head of energy company NOE Net, warned that skilled foreign workers could be scared off if the rules are tightened, and he can see nothing wrong with foreigners having to work below their education level.

“The biggest problem is when foreigners come here and can’t support themselves, not if they are forced to take unskilled jobs,” he said.

Article in Danish here.

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