Youth get a helping hand
As part of their 2013 budget proposal, the government has included a ‘Youth Package’ designed to help get the young and unemployed into jobs and education.
The package, which is to be funded with 635 million kroner, is expected to help roughly 7,000 young people find work through apprenticeships and increased job rotations in private businesses.
“The Youth Package continues in the vein of initiatives that we have taken in an effort to create new jobs,” the prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne), told Berlingske newspaper. “We want young people to get going quickly because they are a very vulnerable group. If they begin getting support it can affect them for the rest of the working lives.”
According to Thorning-Schmidt, people between the ages of 25-29 are particularly effected by the economic crisis, suffering from an unemployment rate of 10.1 percent. As such, she said, the budget, which is to be presented on Monday, therefore focuses on the younger generation.
Henning Jørgensen, a professor of political science at Aalborg University, applauded the initiative, which stretches to 2016, but said that it is insufficient in curtailing the younger generation’s high unemployment rates.
“It’s not enough to come to terms with the young people’s unemployment, but the instruments are good,” Jørgensen told Berlingske. “Job rotation systems upgrade people who work and simultaneously employs others. The 'knowledge pilot' programme [which provides the possibility for small and medium-sized companies to hire highly-educated candidates] is essential because unemployment amongst younger people has skyrocketed in recent years.”
Far-left governmental support party Enhedslisten was pleased with the Youth Package but spokesperson Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen contended that there must also be money available to help the unemployed that fall out of the unemployment benefit allowance (dagpenge) at the end of the year.
“It’s not just the younger people that are affected by the crisis. Unfortunately, unemployment is rife within all age groups and the thousands about to lose their dagpenge. It’s a problem that must be solved and a youth package is simply insufficient,” Schmidt-Nielsen told Berlingske.
Thorning-Schmidt, however, has previously indicated that there wouldn’t be enough funds available in the budget to do both.
The Youth Package, which covers the years 2013-2016, is part of the government’s 2013 budget proposal and amounts to 645 million kroner:
- 177 million kroner is slated for subsidies for companies that take on adult apprentices from fields in which employment opportunities are limited.
- 272 million kroner will go to strengthening the job rotation programme, which upgrades workers via education, while replacing them with the unemployed.
- 88 million kroner will go to the 'knowledge pilot' scheme.
- 61 million kroner will go to aiding education and work experience consultants.
- 26 million kroner will go to education.
- 15 million kroner will go to vocational pilots.
- 6 million kroner will go to jobs for people who are freshly graduated.