YOUTH IN BARENTS - WORK AND WELFARE.
In this project we investigate young people in the Barents region and their relations to the labour market and the links between welfare and employment status. Getting established on the labour market means a great de al for the welfare and living conditions of individuals in both the short and the long term. Young people are in a specially exposed position relative to fluctuations in the labour market because they have had little chance to consolidate their position i n it. Young people in the Barents region are faced with special challenges in this regard. This region is today characterised by major structural changes linked with the local economy and the labour market. Unemployment is high and the nature of the labou r market is conducive to considerable migration of young people both within the region and especially out of it. Broadly speaking, young people in the Barents region are faced with common problems associated with working life and unemployment. At the same time, the various countries in the region have different welfare regimes which influence how welfare schemes linked with the labour market are practiced and experienced. The Barents region is, moreover, characterised by particular cultural, religious and ethnic structures or institutions which can influence how welfare and the role played by the users of welfare services - for instance, the role of an unemployed person - are practiced, experienced and construed. These topics are investigated through mapp ing and analysing career patterns among a sample of persons in the age group of 20-24 years over a period of 4-5 years from 2000 to 2004. A selection of these will be reinvestigated in 2005-2006 through survey, interviews and case studies, and a group of persons with 'problematical' labour market relations and a group of persons with 'non-problematical' labour market relations will be asked questions connected to attitudes towards education and work, future plans and how they experience their own labour m arket relations. The work will be conducted in cooperation with partners in Finland and Russia.