Denmark: Immigrants overtake Danes in education

There are more immigrants currently getting an education than ethnic Danes, according to new statistics from the Integration Ministry. In the 16-24 age group, 62% of immigrants and their children were being educated while the number for ethnic Danes was 61%.

The numbers don't say however how many complete their education. Additionally, it is a snapshot of the situation, and young ethnic Danes who have completed their education and now work as carpenters or bricklayers aren't counted in.

Integration minister Hvilshøj says it shows that Denmark is moving in the right direction, and that there have been great advances. Education is very important, she says, and it is known that immigrants without education have greater difficulties in the job market than ethnic Danes without education.

It is notable that from 2001 there's a marked improvement. Then 56% of immigrants and children were getting an education.

The statistics count all forms of education, except short courses such as three weeks AMU course (adult vocational training).

Bjarne Laustsen of the Social Democrats, has long criticized the government for eliminating the school-based training program from technical education, a program many immigrants have taken.

He says there is certainly a big hard core and much place for improvements with many young men who aren't working. He says when the economy is good employers have no time for training and when the economy is bad they have no advice for the young men.

Lautson also says there is a separate group which the government is not looking at, the learning disabled, who cannot get education under normal circumstances.

Source: Berlingske (Danish)

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