Around 3,500 asylum seekers could potentially have applied for places in one of the five new special integration reception centers established by the Integration Minister, Sylvi Listhaug, but so far only 150 people have applied for one of the 500 available places.
In an overview prepared by Adresseavisen newspaper, in advance of Listhaug’s opening of the integration reception center, Steinkjer, on Friday, it showed that at Steinkjer, only 37 of a total 75 places are in use.
Included in the overview is the information that in the four other centers in Larvik, Kristiansand, Oslo and Bodo, only 150 places (of a total of 500 available) are filled up.
‘We are working very well with their establishment, and the number of residents in integration reception centers is increasing from day to day’, said section chief, Morten Tjessem, of the Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi), which is responsible for part of this process.
Tjessem said that UDI had recently released an information package to all regular reception centers, and had begun with corresponding information work in some transit centers.
‘Here, the work is in its initial phase, and so it’s not possible to say anything about the response yet. We expect to see the results in the period leading up to New Year. It’s been shown that individuals who’d had the opportunity to apply, had refrained from doing so because they did not want to commit to settlement in the municipality’, said Tjessem.
The new special reception centers are intended for asylum seekers who have extra motivation toward integration, and who want to quickly enter the Norwegian labour market.
Places are reserved for refugees who have been granted residence, or who are likely to be.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today