• Sascha Hohlmann
  • Christina Lund Friis
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
During the past years there have been extensive focus on active labour market policies in Denmark - especially centered around the group of vulnerable and long-term unemployed. In several reforms unemployment is directly linked to passivity and activation is regarded as the solution. This is connected to the political transformation in the view of unemployment. Previously unemployment has been regarded as an involuntary situation. This has taken a turn as the political discourse now refers to unemployment as more of a self-inflicted problem. “Flere Skal Med” is an ongoing political initiative that aims to get vulnerable and long-term social security recipients into employment. “Flere Skal Med” is one of many initiatives currently addressing this particular topic. We consider ”Flere Skal Med” as a case that represents this tendency in labour market policies which focuses on job- and education-promoting elements. Therefore we have designed our thesis as a qualitative case study.
The objective of this master thesis is to answer our research question: In the light of perspectives within the research field of social work, which understandings and elements characterize the initiative “Flere Skal Med” and how do street-level bureaucrats experience the implementation of the initiative in practice? To answer this we have gathered different documents about the initiative from the danish government agency STAR (styrelsen for arbejdsmarked og rekruttering), we have observed a course programme related to “Flere Skal Med” for employees from different jobcentres and we have also conducted 8 different interviews with social workers, a project manager and a coordinator in two danish jobcentres. In the analysis the empirical data is being interpreted with several theoretical perspectives. We primarily use Carol Bacchis theory about policy making and Evelyn Brodkins perspectives about street-level organisations and street-level bureaucrats’ adaptive strategies. This is continually supplemented with other theoretical perspectives within the research field of social work.
We conclude that the “Flere Skal Med”-initiative portrays long-term social security recipients as resourceful individuals who are able to get a job if they are activated by their jobcenter and therefore receives work-related initiatives. This is despite the fact that this group, by law, is characterized by having social problems, in addition to un-employment. At the same time we conclude that “Flere Skal Med” rests upon a certain selection of evidence based knowledge and an embedded positive view on vulnerable unemployed. We interpret this as an attempt to steer the work of the front line bureaucrats in a certain direction. We also conclude that both jobcentres interpret and implement ”Flere Skal Med” differently. We argue that this is due to significant differences between the jobcentres who have their individual ways of organizing the work, differences in management approach as well as employees workload, resources and approaches to the social security recipients. This all contributes to creating widely different conditions for implementing both knowledge and methods from ”Flere Skal Med” courses and the initiative in general.
Publication date13 Sept 2018
Number of pages79
ID: 286915174