If the municipalities fail to get refugees to work, a new underclass can quickly develop in Norway, warns immigration and integration minister Sylvi Listhaug.
– We can already see that many of the children who grow up in poor families are the children of immigrant families where mom and dad are out of work.
If many of the refugees who have come now, are standing outside, more and more will fall below the poverty line, says Listhaug.
– The underclass will grow and we will have greater inequality in society, says Listhaug, who on Friday met with politicians from the major municipalities and KS on dialogue regarding the integration of refugees in the Conservative house in Oslo.
Figures from Statistics Norway show that in the second quarter of this year, 80,341 were registered as totally unemployed. Of these, 30,270 had immigrant background.
There is great consensus that for one to succeed with integration, refugees and immigrants must find work. But competition in the job market has become increasingly difficult, says research director Anne Britt Djuve at Fafo.
– From Nav we hear that it is becoming more difficult to find jobs for refugees, she says to news agency NTB.
Norway has for years had high labor immigration. But EU immigrants, refugees, young people who have dropped out of high school and other unskilled workers are often competing for the same jobs.
Djuve believes there is currently considerable uncertainty as to what kind of expertise that exists among the refugees, but she has a clear advice to Listhaug: to invest in vocational training.
– Start early with a run towards a tangible profession and tie Norwegian training with this, she says.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today