Sweden's big football clubs will be used as pulling power when young people are matched with potential employers. Experiences from Malmö and Borås will be used in a national scheme together with the public employment service.
"Football has such a huge impact on many children and youth, so to co-operate with the football associations makes it possible for us to come on good speaking terms with young people, that we do not always have so easy to connect with," said Mikael Sjöberg, the general director of the Public Employment Service.
The three-year project, which aims to see at least half of the 32 football clubs in the two top football leagues actively taking part, is based on experiences from Malmö and Borås, which already have been working for a few years to help young people in the community to improve their chances on the labour market.
In southern Sweden, Malmö's football club MFF has organised Career Days now where employers and youth meet to have a chat and to play football. In three years, 160 young people under the age of 30, have found employment in this way. Karin Heri, who's in charge of MFF's Career Academy, says:
From 2018 onwards, Heri will be taking on the job as national co-ordinator for the project that is aimed at involving more clubs in the work to bring marginalised young people into employment or studies.
"We have a saying in Swedish, that if you are big (and strong) you have to be kind. Since we can make an impact, we should. It is a quite simple way for us to give back," says Karin Heri of Malmö FF.