In 2015, 17 900 persons participated in the introduction programme for new immigrants. This is an increase of 22 per cent from the previous year. Nearly 70 per cent of the participants came from Eritrea, Somalia and Syria.
The number of participants in 2015 is thereby the highest since the programme started in 2005.
Most participants from Eritrea
In 2015, the highest number of participants came from Eritrea, followed by Somalia and Syria. In 2015, Syria had the highest increase compared with the previous year.
Some categories of immigrants have a right to participate in the introduction programme, and it is mandatory for new immigrants aged 18 to 55. There are few participants in the higher age groups, and most participants are between 26 and 35 years old.
High share of participants from Syria and Sudan
The number of participants as a share of the total number of immigrants in a certain year can be a useful measure of participation. Among those who immigrated in 2015, there were, however, many who were unable to start until the end of the year. It is therefore better to look at those who immigrated in 2014 and their participation in the programme in 2015. For immigrants settled in Norway during 2014, the highest degree of participation in 2015 was among those from Syria and Sudan.
Most participants in Oslo
In 2015, as in the previous years, there were most participants in Oslo, followed by Bergen, Trondheim and Kristiansand.
Seven in ten were still registered in the programme at the end of the year
Seventy-one per cent of the participants in 2015 were still registered in the programme at the end of the year. Eighteen per cent completed the full duration of the programme, while four per cent completed early to transfer to work or education.
Norwegian the most important course
The introduction programme consists of several types of schemes or courses, the most important being Norwegian with social studies. Eighty-nine per cent participated in this course during 2015. Thirty-two per cent participated in language practice, which was the second most attended course. Language practice is a component in the language training where the participants spend part of the week in a workplace to get hands-on language practice. The share who participated in courses organised by the municipality/state was also thirty-two per cent.
Some received social assistance
Every participant in the introduction programme receives a “salary”, or an introduction benefit. One of the main ideas behind this payment is to create an alternative to social assistance.
Among the 5 300 who received introduction benefit for the whole of 2015, 1 200 persons, or 22 per cent, received social assistance in addition to the introduction benefit for at least six months. In 2014, this share was 19 per cent.
Source: SSB / Norway Today