3. Employment & Entrepreneurship
This chapter describes youth policy in Denmark in the field of employment and entrepreneurship.
The overall goal for Danish labour market policy is to ensure that the vast majority of Danes are able to provide for themselves. Danish women and men are educated as never before, but there are still big differences in which education or field of study they choose. This has an impact on the strong gender segregation that characterises the Danish labour market.
In relation to young unskilled people, the government has a strong focus on improving their formal skills through vocational education, because unskilled young people are at the greatest risk of unemployment and unstable employment. Hence, the government has established a legal framework to reach the targets:
- Young people in the 15-17-year age group must be in education, employment, or training (see section 3.4)
- and young people without education receive a special benefit ("education benefit") and an instruction to start an education (see section 3.6)
At present, Denmark has a relatively low NEET rate. According to Eurostat, the 2020 Danish NEET (Not in education, employment or training) rate was 10.2% in the 15-29-year age group. In September 2021, the Danish unemployment rate was 4.6% in the 15-64-year age group. For the 15-24-year age group, the unemployment rate in September 2021 was 9.6% (the percentages are adjusted for seasonal variations).
Shortage of skilled labour is emerging in some sectors such as construction, information and communication technology, and services.
Flexibility is crucial to the Danish labour market. It is easy for employers to hire and fire labour. This ensures a high mobility in the labour market. At the same time Denmark has general welfare services, benefits, and optional unemployment insurance funds that provide employees with a comprehensive income safety net between jobs.