Report: Young Workers and Sustainable Work Life


An aging working population emphasizes the need to provide a sustainable working life for young workers, enabling them to work productively with good health for their entire working life. In order to reduce occupational accidents and diseases and to increase work participation among young workers in the Nordic countries, there is a need for a better understanding of the risk factors associated with occupational accidents and ill health. We also need to increase our knowledge on how to facilitate the inclusion of young workers in the labour market. A newly published report from the Nordic council of Ministers show that young workers have a 40% increased risk of work-related mental health problems, up to a 70% increased risk of work -related headaches and a three times increased risk of work -related skin problems compared with older workers. The young workers in the Nordic countries are also more vulnerable to adverse work exposures. They have twice the risk of an accident at work compared to older workers and have a 70% higher risk of being exposed to heavy loads compared to their older colleagues. The Nordic countries also face many of the same challenges when it comes to labor force participation among young adults. The report shows that temporary employment is common among young workers in the Nordic countries. They often work in part-time jobs and atypical working hours. Employment among youth was something different between countries, ranging from 42% in Sweden to 70% in Iceland (TemaNord2016:512 Report – Young workers).


How do we keep the young workers healthy and engaged?

A review of the scientific literature shows that physically demanding work such as heavy lifting, psychosocial workload such as time pressure and safety climate are factors related to occupational accidents among young workers. For work-related health problems, the literature shows that exposure to chemicals, heavy lifting and psychosocial workload are significant risk factors among young workers. When it comes to work participation, early unemployment, low self-rated health, ethnic minority and dropout from school were factors associated with later low employment among workers in the Nordic countries. There is several important factors influencing the health, safety and participation among young workers today. It is a complex picture and shows the need for a multidisciplinary approach. In attempts to increase our understanding of young workers health, safety and participation, it is important to take into account several factors: being young, the individual worker, the workplace, the work tasks, the education and employment.


Why attend this NIVA course?

The course will give you the latest Nordic statistics and scientific literature when it comes to young workers their work environment, health and work participation. In addition to examples of what is being done in the Nordic countries: official campaigns and political initiatives aiming to include young people in working life and keep them safe and healthy.
You will learn about the main reasons for accidents, reduced health and low job participation among young workers today and what we can to improve their working conditions. You will also learn how young people experience the transition from school to working life, need in education and what they need to stay motivated and safe. Adolescent health, the risk of school dropout and later labour market exclusion in young adulthood is also a topic that will be highlighted and discussed.

The presenters are researchers from the Nordic countries, but also practitioners and representatives for the young workers themselves, giving us all valuable insight in the different perspectives on the topics of the course.


When and where?

Soria Moria Hotel, Oslo, Norway

October 18th – 20th, 2016