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Swedish town pays unemployed who travel to Norway

Söderhamn, a town in Sweden, has started to sponsor unemployed youth who wish to travel to Norway in the hopes of finding a job.


"We do not send them away. We help them take one more step, and gain another experience," says the head of the employment office in Söderhamn, Mohamed Chabchoub.

Chabchoub claims that the joint initiative between the municipality and the employment office is not an attempt to "buy themselves" out of a currently high unemployment rate.

The youth get free housing in Norway for a month, and are offered assistance with finding a job in Norway.

The initiative, which is called "The job journey - the door to finding work in Norway" (Jobbreisen - Døren til arbeid i Norge), was a necessary measure according to municipal project leader Magnus Nilsen.

The unemployment rate is more than 25 percent, and traveling to Norway to work has already been a popular option among youth, Nilsen tells the British newspaper Daily Telegraph.

"But some who wish to travel do not know how they can find work, or a place to live. That's why we help them with a little bit of both," says Nilsen.

Söderhamn is located 250 kilometers north of Stockholm, and has a population of approximately 12,500.

(Aftenposten/Daily Telegraph)

Julie Ryland

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