Green jobs important measure to tackle unemployment during COVID-19 crisis

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The Government is relaunching an initiative for green jobs for people who are far from the labour market. The initiative is aimed at mitigating unemployment linked to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. SEK 150 million has been set aside for 2020 and is part of the Government’s proposed Spring Amending Budget for 2020, which is based on an agreement between the Government, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party.

The Swedish Forest Agency has been instructed to coordinate the initiative, which is aimed at creating work the area of nature and forest conservation. Together with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the county administrative boards and the Geological Survey of Sweden, the Swedish Forest Agency is to employ people who are far from the labour market in subsidised employment to carry out simple tasks in primarily nature and forest conservation management.

This work increases access to outdoor life and recreation, which provides added value for many people. Nature and forest conservation can help to reduce the spread of the European spruce bark beetle and other pests. Green jobs are also a way to increase skills supply in the sector. Participants in the initiative gain skills that are in demand in green industries, which increases their prospects of later employment in the sector.

“Similar initiatives have previously worked well for people at risk of ending up even further from the labour market,” says Minister for Rural Affairs Jennie Nilsson.  “It is important that we can now relaunch this initiative, not least because the measures also have a positive impact on nature and forest conservation.”