According to yesterday's unemployment figures, those who drop out of school at 16, or for whatever reason never complete gymnasium or upper secondary studies, are putting their future prospects on the line.
Botkyrka Municipality in south Stockholm has traditionally had high rates of youth unemployment – at 12 per cent last year. Local authorities have pumped resources into projects aimed at getting young people into education and work.
Marcus Hellsing is a job coach on one of the municipality's flagship projects, Basun, working to get 15-24 year olds into training, education and work.
Participants attend individual or group coaching 2-3 times a week. Hellsing told Radio Sweden that his main job is to build self-confidence among the young people and help them to find motivation. Learning practical skills such as communication is also high on the agenda.
Many of the participants eventually enter work in warehouses, logistics firms, grocery shops, the car industry and healthcare. "Arbetsförmedlingen [The Public Employment Agency] is good ... but the young people need more information, and support, from the municipality," says Hellsing.
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