Danish Crown to take on refugees as interns

By Chloe Ryan

- Last updated on GMT

Danish Crown has taken on 16 refugees as interns at its Blans slaughterhouse
Danish Crown has taken on 16 refugees as interns at its Blans slaughterhouse

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Danish Crown is to take a group of 16 refugees on as interns at its slaughterhouse in Blans, with the offer of a permanent job to those who learn Danish and do the job well. 

The scheme, run in collaboration with Jobcentre Sønderborg, will offer the six-month-long placements to help refugees arriving in Denmark the opportunity to become “active citizens in society”​, said factory director Ole Carlsen.

“We want to help to take social responsibility and give a group of people to support themselves,”​ he said.

Since last December, the factory has taken on 86 disadvantaged interns who were either benefits claimants or immigrants and it has proved a huge success, said Carlsen. “Of the 86 who have gone through the courses, we now have the permanent 41, and they are good, knowledgeable staff.”

He said the company would continue to take on interns from these backgrounds as well as the new intake of refugees.

Kirsten Pauly, business consultant at Jobcentre Sønderborg and coordinator of the project said the scheme fulfilled the Jobcentre’s two core tasks: to get the unemployed employed, and to find companies the right staff.

She said the interns started work at 7am and did the same tasks as regular staff, but were also given Danish lessons alongside those on hygiene, safety and knife skills.

The first intake of refugees will start work on 26 October. “The goal is that we hire them if they are good enough,”​ said Carlsen.

Denmark has so far taken in around 11,000 Syrians fleeing war and poverty. After Germany and Sweden, which have respectively taken in nearly 100,000 each, Denmark is one of the biggest re-settlers of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe. So far, nearly half a million people have arrived in Europe as refugees and migrants by sea in 2015, according to UNHCR, the United Nation’s Refugee Agency.

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