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labour market

Unions lower youth salaries for more job training

Published måndag 30 april 2012 kl 15.52
Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund and union negotiator Per Bardh. File photos: Scanpix. Montage: SR.

Several trade unions have agreed to special entry level salaries for young people. The Liberals and the Centre Party have both welcomed the move as a step forward in tackling youth unemployment, reports the news agency TT.

The union Kommunal, which represents municipal workers, has agreed to salaries at 75 percent the average income but asked in return that 25 percent of working hours be dedicated to training the young people.

"It means a full salary for actual hours worked," says union negotiator Per Bardh.

Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund expressed hope that this could tackle youth unemployment. His party, a member of the government coalition, has been vocal in its support for lower wages for young people.

Trade union representatives tell TT that there are differences between Björklund's proposed reforms and this type of agreement.

"It is a combination of work and education. You're paid for the work, it's the education part that isn't remunerated," says Bardh.

In mid-April, the trade union Handels, whose members work in commerce and retail, came to a similar agreement with the employers' representatives.

Politician Annika Qarlsson of the Centre Party at the time responded that the deal recognised that high entry level salaries hindered young people's access to the labour market.

Per Bardh disagrees with that statement. "This has nothing to do with entry level salaries," he says to TT. "You get 75 percent of wages for 75 percent of the work."

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