PM: Higher Employment Rates Crucial for Integration

Copenhagen Post, March 23, 2006

After meeting with immigrant politicians on Wednesday, the prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, underscored that education and jobs are the two most important keys to Danish society for immigrants.

Rasmussen said he would include more initiatives to promote education and employment in his forthcoming welfare reform strategy.

Only 44 percent of non-western immigrants in Denmark are employed, in contrast to 77 percent of ethnic Danes. Differences in education rates show the same gap.

‘A lot of people have said to me that we need to highlight the success stories. That can motivate more young people to get an education and find a good job,’ Rasmussen said after the meeting.

Some politicians have called on schools to improve their academic standards in order to better prepare young people for continuing education and jobs. The minister of integration, Rikke Hvilshøj, however, said the solution also involved other measures.

‘The process involves better schools, as well as making sure kids get tutoring, mentoring and that there are enough job training positions.’

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