The government is tightening language requirements for the payment of social assistance benefits

Torbjørn Røe IsaksenMinister of Labour and Social Affairs Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (Conservative Party).Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

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If immigrants under the age of 30 do not participate in Norwegian language training, they might get cuts in their social assistance benefits, the government proposes.

– “The Norwegian language is an entrance ticket to working life. Lack of Norwegian language skills can lead to you meeting closed doors,” says Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H) to Aftenposten.

The new bill will soon be sent to Parliament, and the changes in the Social Services Act are justified by the fact that immigrants are overrepresented in the social assistance statistics.

Not all immigrants learn Norwegian well enough through the introduction scheme, Isaksen believes.

– “If poor Norwegian skills are a reason why you are struggling to get a job, we will now make Norwegian language training part of the activity obligation for those under 30 years of age. It will also improve integration and equip more people for working life,” says the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs.

He says the change means that the municipalities must ensure that social assistance recipients attend courses if they do not know Norwegian well enough.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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