One in four workers in Europe suffer from stress or other psychosocial difficulties according to Eurofound’s latest survey. But the work for a better work environment is a fight against a many-headed troll. The number of challenges typical of modern working life are increasing. The dangers in the service industry are different from those on the factory floor. As work to improve work environments shifts focus to psychological factors and positive measures, new dangers emerge because of new technology, like nano technology.
25 percent of workers in the EU have a job which causes them psychosocial problems like stress, according to the fifth European working conditions survey. The results have been analysed in a report by Eurofound in cooperation with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. But measuring work environments is considerably harder than measuring unemployment.
The Danish supermarket chain Netto has been nominated for this year’s Danish work environment award for improving its psychological work environment by preparing the group’s 10,000 mainly young employees in how to prevent and handle robberies and violent customers.
For Mathias Schou Sørensen and many other young Danes, a supermarket job is their first step into working life and their first meeting with work environment challenges — of which young people get more than their fair share.
When staff at the surgical ward number 6 at the Karlstad Central Hospital were allowed to spend more time on patients and less on administration, their work environment improved too. They recently won a major work environment award worth 50,000 Swedish kronor (€5,400) for their impressive efforts to improve their work environment.
New Swedish research shows more than one in four young people believe their jobs will have a negative impact on their health. At the same time we are becoming increasingly interested in what makes us healthy at work.
More and more people are exposed to nano particles at work, but few know which types of particles are present or how to handle them. The Nordic Labour Journal visited a Finnish company where safety is everything.
As the workforce ages and the number of young people of working age falls, their chance of finding a job increases. But it is still too early for politicians to sit back and relax. Powerful measures are needed to fight youth unemployment. One solution is to create more apprenticeships.
Finland and Austria are in the vanguard when the EU is developing new ways of supporting young people at risk of becoming unemployed. Finland’s youth guarantee means everyone will get a job, internship or training within three months, and the country’s long-term youth unemployment is the lowest in all of the EU.
An increasing number of young people find work in Finnish industry via apprenticeships. In recent years the forest industry has traded in its own traditional training schemes with other kinds of education — and the programmes are popular.
Few young Danes are outside of the labour market. Improved vocational education should get even more of them into training and jobs.
It is hard to find a better role model for apprentices than Henrik Tanum. He is full of enthusiasm and drive. Right now he is also the face of the Norwegian employers’ organisation Virke, as he is learning the job as their receptionist.
Over the past seven years, Sweden’s Public Employment Service has taken on more and more responsibility for labour market measures aimed at young people. But it has been a challenging task, and municipalities have become increasingly central to getting people into work or training. If they don’t, the cost of marginalisation lands on the municipalities’ desk, and that is motivation enough to do something about it.
What happens when the number of communicators keep growing while the number of journalists keeps falling and many media are bleeding? Will it affect democracy in the Nordic countries?
Today’s Swedish government minister is on average surrounded by eight to ten so-called policy professionals. They work as communicators or policy advisors and have great influence over which issues are confronted and driven forward, even though they work in silence and with unclear mandates. These are some of the results from a new research report due to be published in the spring of 2015.
Journalists becoming communications advisors, or in particular spin doctors to politicians, often say goodbye to journalism for good. But not always. Three former spin doctors tell us about their return to the media world. They all agree their time ‘on the opposite side of the table’ has made them better journalists.
For the first time ever there is a considerable problem of open unemployment among journalists in Finland. There is also substantial hidden numbers since many are working less than they would like or take on extra non-journalistic work in order to make ends meet.
Investigative journalism and the media’s role in a democracy are the main arguments used by media companies when they ask for special treatment. There is a debate in all the Nordic countries over the media’s framework — should they be exempt from paying VAT and should digital media be subsidised?