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Denmark: New corps of mentors to help refugees enter the labour market

The Danish Ministry of Immigration and Integration has recently announced that it will support municipalities and business organisations to build a corps of mentors to help more refugees break down the barriers currently keeping about 2 in 5 of them from entering the labour market. Altogether, the initiative has a budget of 4.4 million Danish kroner, around 590,000 euros.

Organisations that have agreed to recruit mentors are the Danish Metal Workers’ Union, the association for the hotel, restaurant and tourism industry Horesta, and the main managers organisation Ledernes Hovedorganisation. All 3 organisations have received funding from the Ministry of Immigration and Integration as part of the government's Sammen om Integration (together for integration) initiatives. Other recipients include five municipalities (Haderslev, Sorø, Ringsted, Næstved and Helsingør) which will set up a corps of volunteer mentors, in cooperation with local organisations. 

The Association New Dane recommends mentor programmes for refugees and other young people experiencing difficulties in entering the labour market. On the organisation’s webpage, a 2015 pilot project (Hjælp en flygtning NU!/Help a refugee NOW!) is highlighted as to demonstrate the value of mentorship in integrating Syrian refugees.

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