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Denmark: Economist declares the 2016 refugee Integration Programme a failure

In April 2016, the tripartite agreement on the Danish labour market resulted in the launch of a two-year integration programme (IGU) aiming for massive labour market integration of refugees and their family members aged 18 - 40. The Programme introduced apprenticeships combined with 20 weeks of courses. 6 months after its official launch, the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende concludes that the IGU has failed to deliver the sought-after result.

Ambitions were high but so far, only 157 people have enrolled in the business apprenticeship programme while the objective of the reform was to get 14,000 refugees within their first 3 years in the country. The low number of participants in the business apprenticeship programme leads Jan Rose Skaksen, Research Director at the Rockwool foundation to also call the IGU a failure. Skaksen was however among the economists who had positive expectations of the tripartite agreement before its implementation while wondered if the demand would be big enough to achieve the set goal.

The new Programme has also been criticised for introducing a lower minimum wage.

The tripartite agreement