Iceland’s Directorate of Labour intends to devote half a billion kronur (USD 4.2 million) on a direct project to tackle long-term unemployment.
The Directorate will seek to engage 4,000 Icelandic residents who have been unemployed for over 12 months in a wide variety of projects over the next three months.
The campaign is called ThOR (ÞOR with Icelandic letters) and is an acronym for knowledge and experience in Icelandic. This time, the project will be specifically directed towards the 30-70 year-old age group, Visir.is reports.
4,000 people in Iceland have been looking for work for over a year and the Directorate of Labour has set a goal to personally engage all of them before the 1st November. The unemployed will be offered courses, seminars and various educational and employment-based sessions.
“This is an interesting and important human development project, I am sure that it will mean that people will find it easier to find work that otherwise,” says Minister of Social Affairs and Social Security.
When asked by Visir.is for a message direct to the long-term unemployed, he said: “We are not calling on people to stand around in queues or to make them loiter here doing nothing. We are calling on people and offering them an opportunity – and opportunity to give themselves more knowledge to support their efforts to find work. It is important to take the opportunity.”
I have lived in Iceland for 14 years now. The problem (as I see it) is not the lack of jobs so much as the 4000 people waiting for a job commensurate with their previous job. It is the same old story here. “I want a better job and will just wait until that is available.” In the mean time the government will spend 4.2 million USD that will go to government offices and government teachers that are currently employed. The offices will receive increases to their budgets to do the extra coordination work that is in fact what they were supposed to do in the first place. The teachers will get extra hours and thus extra pay. In the end the unemployed will still be unemployed and the “better jobs” still will not exist. But on the bright side the sailor that became a banker will have now had a “seminar” on carpentry. Shame the construction industry is bust here.
Perhaps I am a bit pessimistic, perhaps not.
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this is something wellknown in EU countries to reduce the official number of unemployed people to make the statistics more nice looking. but in reality it does not change the situation at all, there ain’t no work for all and the Gov. has to do more than offering courses or something else. after waiting 1,5 years is is like nothing, only some 50% disappear from the statistics but ask yourself where is the money coming from? from the EU social fonds in expection that Icelandic citizens and residents will be happy about to join the EU with all the benefits? the EU is a dragon and will eat you faster than you can think about….