Youth, Diversity and Employment
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Youth, Diversity and Employment

Comparative Perspectives on Labour Market Policies

Edited by Rune Halvorsen and Bjørn Hvinden

Including youth in the labour market is a major challenge facing many European countries. This book examines the transitions from education to employment with a focus on Nordic youth in the broader European context. The book combines insights from the social sciences and law by linking the challenges facing young people in general and the more specific barriers facing the more vulnerable groups of young people. Youth, Diversity and Employment provides original insights on the interdependencies or interaction between redistributive and regulatory social policies.
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Chapter 8: Social networks, recruitment strategies and the ambiguities of employment activation programmes: Perspectives of employers and vulnerable youth

Rannveig Traustadóttir, James G. Rice and Kristjana Jokumsen


This chapter examines factors contributing to a successful transition to and inclusion in the labour market for minority ethnic youth and youth with disabilities in Iceland. The analysis is based on a qualitative interview study with minority ethnic youth and youth with disabilities in the 16–30 age range, as well as employers and labour market activation professionals. The data demonstrate that formal social regulation played an important role in employment outcomes. However, the outcomes were also dependent on a number of informal mechanisms and the nature of employment in question. Social networks appeared to be a key factor common to both minority ethnic youth and youth with disabilities. People of minority ethnic background often found employment as a result of their network of friends and family. In contrast, the factors for success for youth with disabilities tended to depend more upon activation counsellors, supported employment programmes and wage subsidies.

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