“All countries stand in front of a significant demographic challenge which within a couple of years will create a lack of labour resources. In all countries people are trying to come up with how to expand the workforce in the longer term and thus get more young people into the labour market,” said the Nordic Council of Ministers secretary-general Halldór Ásgrímsson in a comment on the report.
The report suggests that more needs to be done to tackle escalating youth unemployment in Sweden and across the region, including prompt initiatives when young people drop out of education programmes and to ease the transition from school into the labour market.
According to the report 29 percent of those aged 15-24-years-old are unemployed. The equivalent figure in Finland was 27 percent, in Iceland 16 percent, Denmark 13 percent, and in Norway 9 percent.
While youth unemployment has increased over the past two years as a result of the financial crisis, it has been high for a longer period, the report observed.
The report, entitled The Nordic Countries’ efforts to combat youth unemployment”, is set to form the basis of discussions at the upcoming Nordic Youth Council annual session in Reykjavik.
The report recommends a greater integration and knowledge exchange between the Nordic countries in order to coordinate efforts to address the problem.
Furthermore it is argued that education and training should be given a closer focus on what the labour market demands, favouring an investment in practical training.
The report is set to be presented at a Nordic conference on youth unemployment in Copenhagen on October 8th.