Business service operates at governmental, regional and local level. At the local level, job centres are responsible for contact with the business sector and assist these in recruitment and upskilling of employees.
Business service as an element in the Danish employment system operates on several levels. At the governmental level, the Ministry for Employment and The Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment (STAR) are responsible for national legislation, strategies and coordination. STAR’s three regional divisions and the eight regional labour market councils (RAR) are responsible for contact and coordination with the municipalities that are responsible for the local business services and are the main point of contact with employers.
Due to the autonomy of Danish municipalities, it is local job centres that carry out employment initiatives with respect to employers and businesses. The law states that employment initiatives should focus on business service, including recruitment of labour, education and upskilling of new employees entering the labour market following a period of unemployment, and a staff retention service in the event of sickness. Furthermore, job centres are responsible for contact with the business sector, in collaboration with other municipalities and across municipal borders.
At a governmental level, strategies and goals for the business service are determined and planned and the labour market is monitored. STAR’s three regional divisions and the regional labour market councils have an in-depth knowledge of local labour markets and provide consultancy and coordination services across municipalities with respect to the labour market. The business service is administered by local job centres and for this reason, the quality and implementation of national strategies vary between municipalities. STAR’s three regional divisions advise local business consultants or business units regarding business services and help coordinate recruitment across municipalities.
As a result of the employment reform of 2014, it is now stipulated by law that job centres must actively seek out relevant companies and offer assistance in matching unemployed individuals with companies' recruitment needs. Job centres have the task of assisting employers in recruitment, for example by offering assistance in seeking out, screening and distributing relevant available manpower.
As a result of the reform, it is now stipulated by law that job centres are responsible for handling employment initiatives targeted at private enterprises. These initiatives must focus on business services, including recruitment of the unemployed, training and qualification of newly-appointed employees entering the job market after a period of unemployment, and retention of employees on sick leave.
As a result of the reform, it is now stipulated by law that job centres are responsible for contact with the business sector, which happens in cooperation with other municipalities and across municipal borders.
The “new business service concept” and “coordination across municipalities” are not subject to regulation via legislation. The law does not include a provision to sanction job centres which do not comply with the law. One of the political aims of the reform was less regulation and fewer process requirements such that municipalities will have more freedom to organize initiatives to suit local needs.
The three focal points of business service
The reform was aimed at supporting job centres in providing a professional and consistent service for private enterprises, which could also cater to different needs. For this reason, job centres are now required to establish three service tracks for private enterprises: a recruitment service, an upskilling service and a staff retention service in the event of sickness. Job centres must assist and inform private enterprises as regards the recruitment of new employees, keeping businesses abreast of training and education opportunities for new employees, and assisting and informing businesses regarding the retention of employees on sick leave.
The goal of the introduction of these three service tracks is for companies to experience the same level of service irrespective of which job centre they have contact with.
Better coordination between job centres
The reform was likewise aimed at ensuring better coordination within the business service across municipalities. Job centres should work to enhance coordination between local authorities within the three service tracks, especially when dealing with major local infrastructure projects when dealing with sectors with recruitment difficulties, and in the event of major layoffs. Job centres should also have a more systematic and proactive contact with local private enterprises. This work should be coordinated with other municipalities.
The intention of the reform was to bring about a more professional system and to create a better and speedier match between unemployed citizens and businesses.