The right to change lanes

construction worker

Danish trade unions are urging the government to adopt a strategy that would give more people the right to switch professional direction throughout their careers.

According to the Danish Trade Union Confederation (FH), fewer Danes now continue their education while in the labour market than before, even though the retirement age is rising. To reverse the decline in lifelong learning, the FH proposes a “right to change lanes” for anyone who has been in employment for a number of years - for example, workers between the ages of 45 and 60.

The scheme would mean that the state would pay for education, enabling workers to acquire new skills of their own choice and equipping them for jobs where demand exists in the labour market.  The state would provide maintenance corresponding to 110% of the highest unemployment benefit rate.

“This proposal would help to ensure that fewer employees are worn out in the jobs they have, and that they have the competencies that are in demand in a constantly changing labour market,” said FH President Lizette Risgaard. “In this way, we also help to ensure that more people than today have a good and healthy working life. We should not ‘just’ work until we are in our seventies without getting updated or learning something new.”

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