Copenhagen is the best city for talent − so why are we still short of gifted techies?

PR photo: Nikolaj Lubanski, Director of Talent, Copenhagen Capacity Fold sammen
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Kære læser. Artiklen her er en del af det engelske magasin Copenhagen Fintech. Indholdet er udformet på engelsk, da det også henvender sig til en udenlandsk læserskare, som deltager på eventen Money2020, hvor Berlingske Media er mediapartner. Magasinet er udformet af Berlingske Medias kommercielle redaktion i samarbejde med Copenhagen Fintech. God læselyst.

This article is part of the commercial publication 'Copenhagen Fintech'. Click here to view all articles

Copenhagen was elected best city in the world for attracting, keeping and developing talent in the business world earlier this year. But Danish companies still struggle to recruit enough − and the right − talent. According to Copenhagen Capacity, we need to be better at branding Denmark as a whole.

No city is better than Copenhagen to attract, keep, and develop new talent in the business world thanks to a high quality of life, good physical and information infrastructure, and strong international links. That was one of the conclusions of the The Global Talent Competitiveness Index report released in January.

But while Copenhagen is ranked first, Denmark as a whole fell three ranks from 5th to 8th place on the global index. Apart from high taxes, one of the reasons is that Denmark is lacking employees with technical competencies and vocational education.

Danes lack an interest in hardcore coding
According to Copenhagen Capacity, an organisation that assists foreign businesses, investors, and talent in identifying, releasing and capitalising on business opportunities in Greater Copenhagen, Danish companies are still struggling to recruit talent especially within engineering and IT.

But if we are so good at attracting, keeping and developing talent, where do we go wrong?

“We hear from companies and universities alike that not enough Danes are interested in hardcore coding and generally have little interest in what happens on the back end [of software engineering]. In this field we need three times as many talents as we've got,” says Nikolaj Lubanski, Director at Copenhagen Capacity Talent Department and adds, “Another challenge is the dropout rate [at universities]. There is a discrepancy between demand and supply. Even if we get to double the intake we'd still be lacking around 19,000 experts in 2030, according to the projections.”

By adding coding as a subject in school curriculums for lower-grade students, we’d be able to create interest earlier on and achieve better results, Lubanski claims.

“We need a long-term solution. We have to tell people, the ones with the right competencies, that Denmark is an attractive place for tech talent to live,” he says and adds: “The task is twofold: We have to get the word out to the world about the qualities of the Danish tech industry as well as our willingness to focus on innovation, and we have to explain that in Denmark they'll also have the possibility to get a real work-life balance. It's a city with a green profile, good conditions for families with young children and a vibrant leisure life.”

Recruitment campaigns are working
In collaboration with Danish business life, Copenhagen Capacity carries out international recruitment campaigns targeted at attracting foreign talent to open positions in Denmark. It is not just startups that need talent, however. Big companies – Maersk, NCC, Novo Nordisk, etc. − have also discovered that if they can't hire people with a keen eye for AI, Big Data and such, they'll lose their competitive position.

But what about all the Danish jobs going to foreigners? Lubanski is not worried about that at all. Firstly, because the job positions are open and there are simply not enough local talent to occupy them. Secondly, because one international employee living in Denmark for 5,5 years contributes 720.000 kroner net in taxes.

“Foreign talent ensures that tech companies will continue to operate and grow in Denmark,” Lubanski concludes.


This article is part of the commercial publication 'Copenhagen Fintech'. Click here to view all articles