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The end of free language classes will push foreign professionals out of Denmark: DI

The end of free language classes will push foreign professionals out of Denmark: DI

If the government and the Danish People’s Party (DF) have their way, foreigners will have to pay 12,000 kroner (1,600 euros) to take Danish classes.
The consequence may be that foreign workers feel less connected to Denmark – and leave. And that is bad for businesses, says the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), a private interest organisation funded, owned and managed by 10,000 companies within the manufacturing, trade and service industries.

A bill to implement the fees for language lessons had its first of the three parliamentary readings required in the Danish lawmaking system on Tuesday, writes dibusiness.dk.

The bill, which had its first reading on May 8th, is expected to eventually be passed, given it has the majority backing of the coalition government and parliamentary ally DF.

Language is, among other things, vital in keeping talented foreign workers in Denmark, says DI’s Head of Global Talent Linda Duncan Wendelboe.

Language is one of the decisive factors determining whether foreign workers settle down more permanently in Denmark – for the benefit of Danish businesses, according to Wendelboe.

“If you don’t speak Danish, it can be difficult to follow what’s going on and feel like part of the community at a workplace,” she said.