An irrigation channel built via Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme, which provides cash or food for work on infrastructure or environmental schemes. (Photo: Nena Terrell/USAID Ethiopia, via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)
The Government has decided how the Green jobs initiative is to be implemented. The initiative covers the entire country and during the autumn 608 placements are planned for people who are far from the labour market. One aim of the Green jobs initiative is to alleviate unemployment linked to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.
In the spring amending budget, a total of SEK 150 million was set aside for the Green jobs initiative in 2020 for people who are far from the labour market. The Government has now instructed the Swedish Forest Agency, the Geological Survey of Sweden, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the county administrative boards and the Swedish Public Employment Service to contribute to the creation of jobs for nature. The Swedish Forest Agency is to coordinate the work and the agencies involved have made a preliminary plan for how the places are to be distributed across the country.

“This is a concrete initiative that opens opportunities for unemployed people across the country. I am pleased that the agencies involved have so quickly organised so that we can now offer unemployed people training in shortage occupations in the green industries and at the same time carry out important nature conservation and forest management activities,” says Minister for Rural Affairs Jennie Nilsson. The Green jobs initiative aims to improve integration, develop the skills and employability of newly arrived immigrants and long-term unemployed people, alleviate the skills deficit in the green industries, strengthen nature conservation and forest management, as well as promote outdoor activities, cultural sites, recreation and tourism.

This will then provide added value for many people. Forest management can, for example, contribute to reducing the spread of pests such as European spruce bark beetle. The remit includes developing methods for skills development with a focus on clearing and planting in production forests, with the aim of increasing the participants’ employability so they can more easily be matched with potential employers in shortage occupations in the green sector. Measures for valuable natural environments in the areas of nature conservation, outdoor activities and biodiversity can, for example, target the management of nature reserves, improvement of the state hiking trail system and control invasive non-indigenous species.