21-03-19 DI Business News

Blog: DKK 13 million to bring more international employees to Denmark

Linda Duncan Wendelboe, Head of DI Global Talent, blogs about the Capital Region’s new two-year lighthouse project, which seeks to improve conditions for attracting and retaining international labour in the entire region.

The Capital Region of Denmark has launched a two-year lighthouse project with a budget of over DKK 13 million to strengthen recruitment and retention of international talent throughout the entire Greater Copenhagen region.

That’s good news for the region’s many companies whose attempts to recruit in recent years have often been fruitless – and for whom the lack of qualified workers is one of the greatest barriers to growth.

We compete with Europe – and the rest of the world

Together with eight municipalities and the University of Copenhagen, the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) has decided to actively partner in the project, which is led by Copenhagen Capacity and International House Copenhagen.

We do so because targeted action is necessary to ensure that the region can compete with other major cities in Europe – and the rest of the world.

The international competition for talented workforce is intensifying in these years, and other countries and regions are increasingly focused on taking steps to attract the talent their businesses need.

In recent years, Copenhagen has focused on – and gained experience with – attracting international talent. Services and programmes have been developed to ensure a good reception that benefits newly arrived employees and the companies they work at.

Some of these services have unfortunately been reserved for new arrivals who live and work in Copenhagen Municipality, meaning that surrounding municipalities and the companies based here have not benefited to the same degree.  

Successful initiatives must be brought more widely into play

One of the aims of the lighthouse project is therefore to foster broader cooperation between municipalities and other players in the entire Greater Copenhagen region, which, on the Danish side, includes the Capital Region and all of Zealand. This might for example involve more sharing of knowledge and experiences and better coordination of housing offers to new international employees.

In order to strengthen talent recruitment, the lighthouse project has also earmarked resources for targeted international campaigning and marketing initiatives.

Cooperation is the way forward

Fortunately, the new project isn’t starting completely from scratch. The lighthouse project builds upon successful initiatives that are already up and running through a broad cooperation across organisations, municipalities and private firms. These include digital marketing campaigns, joint career delegations, special initiatives for communicating job opportunities for accompanying spouses and retention of international students.

Cooperation is the key word if Denmark is to succeed in the intensifying competition for the most talented employees – because this will only happen if players are in it together for the long haul.

It’s necessary to think even bigger than Greater Copenhagen, because it isn’t only in the Capital Region that companies are suffering from labour shortage. 

The experience gained and specific measures introduced in the new lighthouse project and other regional projects can and should be brought more widely into play in order to strengthen the cooperation on attraction, reception and retention of international talents across municipal borders, regions and between organisations – to the benefit of companies in all of Denmark.