4 July, 2022
Originally from Liverpool, Simon Barclay started his career in the military, where he worked with helicopters. A job that took him around the world and eventually to Denmark, where he met his future wife – and a career within renewable energy.
Simon is HR Manager at Baettr, a company that designs and manufactures components for wind turbines. He enjoys the professional challenges that arise in a global organisation, collaborating among others with Sweden, China and India.
Baettr’s green profile is a great motivation for Simon and it’s perhaps not entirely coincidental that he ended up in Denmark. Today, many organisations in Denmark are tackling global agendas, especially within the green transition.
“Denmark is at the forefront in the transition to green energy and this is very recognised internationally,” Simon notes.
The dialogue in Danish companies is something which at first surprised Simon. He was used to a more direct management style, and the Danish approach with teamwork and dialogue was different from what he knew back home in England.
Simon believes this stems from the political system in Denmark, where cooperation is essential, and parties from across the political spectrum strive to reach agreement:
“You need to accommodate many several points of view in Denmark, but it may also mean that the decisions that come out of the process are thoroughly good”, says Simon.
Simon’s best advice to international newcomers that arrive to Denmark is to speak with people, look around, and learn the country’s culture and language.
Although the latter – learning Danish – might not be as crucial today as it was when Simon came to Denmark in the 1990s. Back then, you had to learn Danish to even be considered in the Danish labour market. With big Danish companies evolving, and more companies being internationally oriented, Simon believes this is no longer the case:
Lego was the only big company that hired English-speaking employees at that time, so if you didn’t speak Danish, it was very difficult to find a job. Today, there is more focus on having English as the corporate language and it makes it easier to enter a given company.”
Simon believes that it has become much more respected to have international employees, who are essential in both production and permanent employment positions. Still, he recommends a form of cultural integration: “it’s a difficult situation to move to a foreign country which is why it’s important to familiarise yourself with the culture you arrive in.”
Working with HR in a Danish company, Simon also has the first-hand impression of what the job market is like. Simply put, Denmark needs more internationals employees:
It’s good to have initiatives like HEADSTART that strive to attract more skilled people to Denmark. It’s a good and necessary foundation for Denmark if we want to maintain competitiveness with foreign countries. We need to attract competencies to all tasks, which we also notice at Baettr, and we have great opportunities to attract internationals to Central Denmark, as Denmark is a respected part of the EU.”
While it sure isn’t easy to move to a new country, Central Denmark can definitely be worth looking into, if you are interested in the sustainable agenda: “we are known for having many exciting companies that work with the green transition,” Simon points out.
Would you like to join them? Have a look at open positions here.