Denmark: language course cuts down on uemployment

Intensive language courses at Århus Language Centre is one of the ways the municipality is helping immigrants find their way to the job market

A concentrated effort by Århus county in preparing foreigners for the job market has been a big success in cutting down immigrant unemployment.

The number of unemployed refugees and immigrants in the county has been nearly halved since 2004, daily newspaper Århus Stiftstidende reported Sunday.

'Municipalities currently have excellent opportunities to help public welfare recipients join the labour force,' said Christian Aagaard, the chair of the Labour Market Council for Århus County.

Just two years ago, about 3000 unemployed refugees and immigrants from non-Western countries in the county were listed as unemployed. Today, that number is fast approaching only 1500, and the positive trend appears to be continuing, according to labour market officials.

Århus Language Centre has played a key role in helping the county reduce the number of immigrants on its unemployment rolls. Intensive language courses have provided a helping hand for a number of analphabetic immigrants, according to Poul Neergaard, the centre's principal.

'We can't keep track of all of the participants after they have left us, but some of them find jobs during their courses, while others find jobs afterward,' said Neergaard.

The centre has a number of cooperative agreements with the postal service, construction companies and the police.

Source: Copenhagen Post (English)

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