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Youth unemployment — light at the end of the tunnel?

The tide is turning. Starting this year, Europe’s working-age population is falling, but that does not solve the problem of youth unemployment. Clear political priorities are needed. We have looked at some of the current measures in the Nordic region. We went to North Sweden to see how a small municipality is dealing with the challenges. We have looked at apprenticeship systems in Norway, Denmark and Finland to see what works, and we met Finnish youths who have been given a new chance through the youth guarantee — which is meant to be a model for the rest of Europe. The question remains: is there light at the end of the tunnel?

Oct 14, 2014 | Photo: Cata Portin

Finland has 250 'youth workshops' where young people can try out different occupations. At Mediakylpylä Nicolas Harju and Ida Liina Laine get to practice making a video documentary. Anu-Maarit Ikola, the project's deputy leader, holøds the camera (above).

 

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Finnish cases in EU Court of Justice could have Nordic consequences (Oct 14, 2014) Is the Finnish system of universally applicable collective agreements incompatible with the free movement of services? That is what an advocate-general at the Court of Justice of the European Union suggests in a fresh opinion. The case is only one out of three current ones which could have a major impact on the Nordic countries’ labour markets.
Stefan Löfven (S): Sweden will be a global role model (Oct 03, 2014) Prime Minister Löfven called his new government feminist as he presented it in parliament on Friday. It has 23 government ministers — 12 women and 11 men plus the Prime Minister — and is a coalition comprising the Social Democrats and the Green Party. Work was top of Löfven’s speech.
Researchers: Employment has become more important than job content (Sep 10, 2014) Working life has been on the agenda during the Swedish general election campaign, and especially unemployment. More jobs are needed. Yet visions for the content of those jobs have not figured politically — an inconsistency highlighted by a group of researchers at a recent meeting in Stockholm.
OECD: Wage cuts will not create jobs (Sep 03, 2014) Industrialised countries have reached the limit for how much wages can be cut. Since the start of the economic crisis, wages have fallen in real terms for half of all employees in OECD countries. Further cuts could be counter-productive and damage growth.
The Nordic model: From Reykjavik to Paris (Jun 17, 2014) “The Nordic countries need to stay on course. They will be an example to other countries, a reference point, particularly when it comes to the harmony between growth and really good social standards,” says Christian Kastrop, newly appointed Director for the Policy Studies Branch at the OECD’s economy department.
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Social scientists must guide us out of the crisis (Oct 15, 2014) Analysis "There is a fire of resentment burning across Europe, and there’s an urgent need to calm tensions. Social scientists need to get involved. Dogmatic economists have been allowed to dominate the debate for too long," says Maurizio Ferrera, Professor at the University of Milan.
Editorial: A guarantee for the future? (Oct 15, 2014) Comments There are fewer young people outside education, employment or training in Denmark than in Sweden. Why do the Danes succeed? While all of Europe is learning from the Finnish youth guarantee, the Nordic Labour Journal has spoken to Nordic youths about their experiences, and examined how countries succeed with their measures. Central to them all are vocational educations, apprenticeships and internships.
Kvinfo Director: The Nordics can’t afford not to be gender equal (Oct 15, 2014) Portrait Modern gender equality must liberate both sexes, and the Nordic region must be at the forefront of this. It is too expensive not to, says Nina Groes, Director at the Danish Centre for Information on Gender, Equality and Diversity, Kvinfo.
Finnish cases in EU Court of Justice could have Nordic consequences (Oct 14, 2014) News Is the Finnish system of universally applicable collective agreements incompatible with the free movement of services? That is what an advocate-general at the Court of Justice of the European Union suggests in a fresh opinion. The case is only one out of three current ones which could have a major impact on the Nordic countries’ labour markets.
Editorial: Society’s watchdog in danger? (Sep 12, 2014) Comments When journalists and spin doctors swap jobs, should we worry? If professional advisors and communications workers have more influence than politicians, is it a risk to democracy? When journalism becomes a victim to cuts, what happens to quality? And when there are two communicators for each journalist, what happens to society’s watchdog?
Feminists, but also masculinists (Sep 12, 2014) Insight The Nordic region has cooperated on gender equality for 40 years. It has been of great importance for equality’s progress and has improved the lives of Nordic citizens, said Eygló Harðardóttir, Iceland’s Minister of Equality during the anniversary celebrations in Iceland on 26 August. Where is the debate today? Is there a need for a new equality narrative?
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Groes front page Kvinfo Director: The Nordics can't afford not to be gender equal

The gender equality debate in Denmark and the Nordic region has gained a new high profile player in Nina Groes, who started her job as Director of Kvinfo six months ago. She has just launched a new bold strategy for the Danish Centre for Information on Gender, Equality and Diversity. 

“My ambition is to get gender equality onto all the major social agendas, be it the labour market, education or growth," she says.

"Denmark and the Nordic region represent a small area globally, and we simply cannot afford for individual men and women not to be able to realise their full potential because of a lack of equality."

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Unemployment

Per cent of workforce -
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Denmark 6.7 - August

Finland 7.4 - August

Norway 3.4 - July

Iceland 4.7 - August

Sweden 7.4 - August

OECD 7.3 - August

Eurostat

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Media in crisis - a challenge for democracy? Media in crisis - a challenge for democracy
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Celebrating 60 years with a borderless labour market Celebrating 60 years with a borderless labour market
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