23 April 2020

Danish companies need international talent

Talent Retention

Since Danish companies find it difficult to find qualified employees for vacancies, it makes sense to grease the wheels of the supply chain of international graduates, right from attracting students, over fuelling their desire for a career in Denmark to giving them skills to land their first job.

How do universities retain international graduates and help them land their first job? The answer lies in constant and active engagement with the international student – from before they enroll, through graduation and sometimes beyond. To support this argument, 29 stakeholders have joined forces to successfully retain more international graduates through the EU- funded project TalenTDK (or Talent for Denmark).
Photo by Søren Nielsen. Copyright Dansk Industri
The building of the Confederation of Danish Industry in Copenhagen.
Photo by Søren Nielsen.
Copyright: the Confederation of Danish Industry.

Head of Global Talent at the Confederation of Danish Industry, one of the stakeholders, Linda D. Wendelboe welcomes the initiative:
This is a group of talents that has already decided to come to Denmark, so it makes sense to intensify retention efforts and include initiatives such as career programmes, matchmaking events and a digital starter kit.”

Not out of the blue, but blooming from within
TalenTDK is not a project that explores uncharted territory for UCPH. Partnership for Retention, a fast-working policy group anchored at The Danish Rectors Conference, with UCPH Prorector Bente Stallknecht as chairperson, submitted 29 specific recommendations (in Danish only) for retention, to the Danish government in August 2019. Subsequently, the TalenTDK project has received funding to implement a large part of these recommendations in 2020-2022.
Prorector, Bente Merete Stallknecht
Prorector, Bente Stallknecht
With these recommendations, Danish stakeholders take responsibility for increasing employment among international students after graduation. This way, we not only enhance the economy, we facilitate nationwide sharing of the perspectives and unique qualifications that students with alternative backgrounds possess,” Bente Stallknecht says.
At the same time, UCPH’s engagement in attraction and retention has been growing over the years, but with the Strategy 2023, the University has committed strategically to boosting engagement both on leadership level and on faculty level.
Successful career initiatives at UCPH

Since UCPH will mainly focus on the retention part of this national initiative, the University is part of the Starter Kit, a landing page for new students and expats. UCPH will also launch new learning modules on CV and job application writing as well as expand existing talent programmes, and tailor matchmaking and company dating events to international students.

While new initiatives are being developed, the TalenTDK project will also seek to expand the successful results from prior single initiatives, such as Young Professionals in Denmark (YPD) and Greater Copenhagen Career Programme (GCCP). MSc in Food Science and Technology 2015-18, Ammar Babar from India participated in both programmes and comments on his career opportunities in Denmark:

When I came to Denmark I was clueless about the Danish job market. Rejections during the first few months motivated me to apply for programmes like YPD and GCCP to understand the job market better. The programmes helped me understand the Danish way of working, improved my job applications and connected me with industry professionals.”

Ammar Babar working at Chr. Hansen A/S
Ammar Babar working at Chr. Hansen A/S

Ammar Babar now works as an Application Scientist in an international team at Chr. Hansen A/S, a global market leader in bioscience. Four out of his six team members are international. It is the ultimate goal of the TalenTDK project to see more workplaces like Ammar’s.

By Eva Raimondos-Møller & Christina Grauballe