Young, unemployed Swedes are getting some financial assistance from their home communities to seek their fortunes in Norway, where the jobless rate remains low and many employers are eager to hire fellow Scandinavians.
Sveriges Radio reported this week that the Swedish city of Söderhamn, about 250 kilometers north of Stockholm, is helping pay for its youth who can’t find jobs at home to travel to Norway. “We’re not sending them away, we’re giving them some other possibilities in the hopes they’ll find work,” the head of the local unemployment office, Mohamed Chabchoub, told the national radio channel.
The assistance consists of travel costs, a month of lodging and contact with employment agencies once in Norway. Around 100 have accepted the offer, made to everyone between the ages of 18 and 28, and most have been employed almost immediately upon arrival. Andreas Larsson, for example, had been out of work in Söderhamn for nearly two years when he traveled to Oslo.
“I got here on a Thursday and Monday morning I had a job,” said Larsson, who now works as a truck driver in Oslo. “It was almost unreal, like coming to the promised land.”