Youth unemployment – any ideas?

I've been invited to participate in an interesting project in a local government. The task at hand is to more or less eliminate their youth (18-24 years old) unemployment through commercial means. Anyone familiar with Swedish government culture will recognize that this in essence is a call for social innovation.

There are roughly 600 unemployed young people in this specific community. The local government has a strong group of wholly owned companies as a key resource. They have in many ways been Swedish pioneers in what could be called social business.

The trick now is to come up with a viable approach to the task. The unemployment agency, the local government and their group of companies are starting points for a dialogue about partnership for 3-5 years. I believe private business should be involved as well. And obviously the people who hopefully are to benefit from the initiative.

There are already a number of ideas being tossed around. One of them being to start a new company that allows businesses to hire young people as temps. This could be a first step to get employed and in the mean time one accumulates experience from being hired to different clients and can also participate in training when not being utilized. The company would have revenue from both government bodies and the market and hopefully be able to carve out a fairly sound (social) business model.

Do you have ideas in connection to this that you want to share? Please let me know.

//jan

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