Too many immigrants outside the labor market

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


Integration minister Jan Tore Sanner must improve the introductory program, says Oslo City Council Tone Tellevik Dahl.

All newly arrived refugees are offered to participate in an integration program, whose goal is to learn Norwegian and quickly get out of work or education.

Tone Tellevik Dahl (Labor Party) believes that there are many challenges with today’s integration, and now urges the integration minister to make changes to the introduction program for refugees. The biggest challenge is that many immigrants do not get a job.

She has come up with concrete proposals for changes she has sent to integration minister Jan Tore Sanner. The municipalities need government assistance, Dahl believes.

“I hope Sanner can be positive about the changes, and we will do our best to improve implementation in general. But here we need state aid, so that we and all other municipalities are in a better position to get more into work and education, “says the agency.

– Need more time

One of the proposals for the agencies is to enable the refugees who need it to extend the introduction program to four years. Dahl says that many who come to Norway have little education, which presents challenges. These need more follow-up than others.

The Ministry of Education reports that 70 per cent of those who have come to Norway as refugees have only completed primary school or have no education in recent years.

“The challenge is that refugees who would have been very successful in four years’ races are those we find today in various measures at NAV, and who like to receive social assistance because they have not come to work,” says Dahl.

She means the money they already spend on refugees, in such cases being used in the wrong way. According to the agencies, this is a bad economy.

“Because the society was a bit too” gnawing “at the outset, we have to spend a lot to fix it later.

Big unemployment

After the refugees have participated in the integration program, one of the goals is to get them out of work or education. According to Dahl, a major problem is the unemployment of today.

Figures from the Oslo municipality show that in 2017, 54 per cent of refugees who completed the program in the municipality went to work or education.

The Ministry of Education also admits that there are some challenges with integration.

“Norway has worked well with integration compared with other European countries, but we still have a number of challenges. Many immigrants are out of work and are living in poverty, partly because they lack formal competence, State Secretary Rikke Høistad Sjøberg believes in the Ministry of Education.

Today’s working life, which still demands higher competence requirements, makes immigrants vulnerable to the labor market, according to Sjøberg.

Big differences

Sjøberg admits that there are too big differences between how the introductory program and Norwegian education work in different municipalities.

She believes that they must be better off giving children and young people who come to the country good and adapted education so they get a good education. In addition, she believes that adult immigrants must receive real and formal qualifications for working life.

There are also large variations in the results between the districts in Oslo. In 2017 in the district of Alna, 19 percent of those who completed the program went out of work. In Old Oslo, on the other hand, 65 percent were employed, figures from Oslo Municipality show.

“Equal services in all parts of the city are important to me,” says Dahl, working on a standard that will contribute to it.

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