“Obviously it takes time to implement,” the group’s president Philip Botström tells Swedish Radio News. “We also know that many things are being done, but more is needed. It needs to go faster and I expect the government to roll up its sleeves and work harder.”
The Social Democrats, the dominant party in a minority coalition with the Greens, promised before the 2014 elections that no young person would have to be unemployed for longer than 90 days. To do this the party promised job guarantees, internships and training programs.
The government has launched two new projects aimed at reducing youth unemployment, and the number of participants has reached 200. But that’s far from meeting the 90 day promise, which Labor Market Minister Ylva Johansson says can be kept.
“I have to get this done during this term of office, and I expect to do so,” she says.
Ylva Johansson tells Swedish Radio News that besides the new projects, which offer trainee positions and further education for young people who have failed to finish high school, there are other important things that need to be done.
For example, she says, support from the Swedish Public Employment Service from the first day a young person looks for a job, and better adapting the agency’s efforts to the needs of the unemployed.
“There was a 100 day guarantee in the 90’s, which was criticized for shifting responsibility or putting young people in programs without really thinking through what would help them get jobs,” Ylva Johansson says. “So now we are putting a lot into getting it right from the beginning, and not just quickly throwing young people into programs because 90 days have passed.”