Solberg praises Catholic relief organization

CaritasOslo. Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Norma Perez Brisbois.Photo: Sunniva Tønsberg Gaski / NTB scanpix

Caritas makes an important contribution to helping immigrants in its work, but also to telling them when they should consider going home said Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Høyre (H).

It was the prime minister herself who opened the Caritas Resource Center in Storgata in Oslo. On Friday, she returned to learn more about the work the Catholic Relief Society does for integration and to help refugees and migrant workers get a job.

Over 20,000 people visited the center last year.

They received guidance and help writing applications and CVs, and preparing for job interviews. On an ordinary day, about 40 people come to the supervision service center, while four Norwegian language courses with about 80 participants are carried out.

Solberg praised the efforts Caritas makes, and believes the organization is important for a large group of labour immigrants and asylum seekers who come to Norway.

‘’I think it is very exciting that in recent years the Catholic Church has begun to do more of its relief work here in Norway. For many of those who come to Norway, the Catholic Church is a volunteer organisation they areoften associated with from their home countries’’ she told NTB news.

Norskkurs (Norwegian course)

On Friday the prime minister visited, among other things, the organization’s Norwegian course and job search course, as well as meeting some of the organization’s volunteers.

The self-help principle is central to Caritas’ integration method. Immigrants can both participate in activities and get help, while they themselves can be volunteers and thus help others.

The principle is reminiscent of the new integration strategy the government launched last year, where language, work and participation were the keywords. Labour and Social Minister, Anniken Hauglie of Høyre (H), earlier this year, among other things, advocated introducing requirements for a Norwegian course for immigrants who receive social assistance.

Solberg announced that this requirement will probably be in place already by 2020.

Tough job market

Although she thinks Caritas is making an important contribution to getting people into work, the Prime Minister also emphasized their efforts to inform and advise immigrants and asylum seekers about whether it is at all possible for them to establish themselves in Norway.

“They do an important job of guiding people who come here as refugees and asylum seekers about how Norwegian society is, but they are also important for those who come as migrant workers with hopes for work” said the Prime Minister.

‘’These are hopes they may not fulfill because they do not have the qualifications needed in our labour market, and then Caritas helps to give guidance also that they might think about returning home, because Norway does not meet the hopes they have’’ said Solberg.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today