CPH Post


Unemployed have difficulty staying in work

More than half find jobs within three months on benefits, but the progress is short-lived

Employment Minister Mette Frederiksen says too many young people have difficulty reading and writing (Photo: Scanpix)

December 16, 2013

by PS

Young unemployed people on welfare benefits return quickly to state support after finding work, new figures from the employment agency, Arbejdsmarkedsstyrelsen, reveal.

Sixty percent of recipients of kontanthjælp – the least generous unemployment benefit – under age 25 find work within three months of receiving the benefit.

But the progress is short lived, as 40 percent of those who find work are back on kontanthjælp within a year.

READ MORE: Kontanthjælp reform: The central points

Literacy problems
The employment minister, Mette Frederiksen (S), said it is often a case of young people not being properly educated.

“Too many young people leave school without being able to read properly,” Frederiksen wrote in a comment to TV2 News. “If they don’t have those skills in place it is difficult to complete an education.”

Kontanthjælp was cut significantly this year to encourage young people to take an education instead of passively receiving the benefit.

Those under the age of 30 will receive 5,753 kroner a month – down 1,000 kroner – while those under the age of 25 will receive only half of what they once did.

READ MORE: Unemployment benefit reform works

Less money, more help
Frederiksen told Politiken newspaper that despite the cuts, the government had introduced programmes worth 335 million kroner in 2014 to support young people who have difficulty joining the labour market.

For example, all young people without any further education are entitled to take a test to check their language and mathematic abilities.

If they show weakness, they can receive education to help them improve, as well as gain access to a mentor.

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