Norway: State should sponsor immigrants

Norway's Christian Democrats think the state should sponsor jobs in the private sector for immigrants, to ease an immigrant unemployment rate that's as much as four times higher than the jobless rate for ethnic Norwegians. There may be support in parliament for such a program, but opposition looms.

The leader of the Christian Democrats' party, Dagfinn Høybråten, told newspaper Aftenposten on Monday that "we must try some solutions that haven't been tried before."
Høybråten, a former government minister, stressed that jobs are the most important means of integrating immigrants into Norwegian society.

Høybråten thinks the state should subsidize private companies that offer to give a job to non-Norwegian applicants. His political party intends to float a measure in parliament that in its essence would sponsor jobs for immigrants in the private sector.

Politicians from the Labour and Socialist Left parties seem ready to back the measure, but want it to apply to other hard-pressed groups of job seekers as well, such as the physically disabled.

The Progress Party, Norway's most conservative party, is already voicing opposition, however. Per Sandberg, deputy leader of the party that currently ranks as Norway's largest in public opinion polls, called the proposal for state-sponsored salaries for immigrants "hopeless" because it would give certain groups special treatment and could result in reverse discrimination against Norwegians.

Source: Aftenposten (English)

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