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Somalis alienated from Norwegian job market


Culture differences mean methods designed to get Somalis into the labour market in Norway do not work



Wednesday, October 08, 2014

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A growing number of Somali immigrants are feeling humiliated by The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), a new report shows.

Independent research foundation Fafo’s study (in Norwegian) NAV’s treatment of this group has a negative effect on their trust in institutions and experience of inclusive Norwegian citizenship.

NAV employees have explained that the major problem of getting Somalis into the job market is their lack of education and language skills.

According to some NAV workers, Somali immigrants are particularly demanding and reluctant compared to other groups.

“Many Somalis are lacking very basic training in the form of language, for example. Therefore, they feel that NAVs more work-oriented initiatives are worthless,” Fafo researcher John Horgen Friberg told NRK.

State collapse and civil war has led to that many Somalis lack basic education. It has also worked to diminish their trust in governmental institutions.

This collapse of the Somali state in 1991 led an influx of Somali immigrants to Norway. Some 33,000 emigrated to the Scandinavian country between 1990 to 2013.

Service Director of the Directorate of Labour and Welfare, Bjørn Gudbjørgsrud thinks that the NAV programmes aimed at getting Somalis into the labour market are short-sighted.

“I believe, for example that, the introductory program is too short for parts of this group and that several [Somalis] need more extensive language learning,” he told the Norwegian state broadcaster.

Fafo’s report outlines that it is each municipality’s responsibility to ensure basic education for immigrants. Only then will NAV’s labour market measures be effective in securing employment for immigrants.

At the same time, an earlier report by Fafo showed a great disparity in educational programme offers between different municipalities in Norway.

Somalis face challenges in Oslo, and many immigrants move out of Norway again after a period due to exclusion from the labour market.

The latest report from Fafo further states that NAV’s labour oriented measures will only be effective when individuals already have acquired basic knowledge that can be transferred to the labour market.



 





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