For an increasing number of Filipino women, a term as au pair in a Danish host family has become the first step on the path to a longer stay in Denmark with a work and residency permit.
In 2004, 48 Filipinos received a Danish work permit. By 2009, that number had increased more than sixfold, to 295 work permits, writes daily newspaper Politiken.
The health sector is the big draw, with former au pairs finding work as social and health workers or nurses. And with good reason.
For years, nursing school has been touted by the Philippine government because finding work abroad as a nurse is easy.
For decades, the Philippines have had the export of labour as a clear strategy because the nation is unable to create a sufficient number of jobs at home. And the country is heavily dependent on the billions of dollars that Filipinos working abroad send back to their families in the Philippines each year.
Vice-president of the Danish Nurses’ Organization, Dorte Steenberg, thinks that it is both natural and healthy for the nursing profession to have foreign nurses flock to Denmark.