Young workers and sustainable work life

Special emphasis on Nordic conditions

image of Young workers and sustainable work life

A sustainable working life that prevents work-related health problems and facilitate inclusion of young workers is vital to ensure the health, safety and work participation among young workers in the Nordic countries. This report provides Nordic statistics, scientific knowledge and discussions on how to achieve a sustainable work life for young workers in the Nordic countries. Under the Swedish presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2013, the focus was on youth and young workers' working conditions. As part of this focus, the Nordic Council of Ministers commissioned this report. The report shows that an inter-disciplinary and comprehensive approach is essential to ensure a sustainable work life among young workers. Six characteristics are emphasized as important: the characteristics of the worker, the workplace, the work task, the employment, the education and the youth.




An aging working population emphasizes the need to provide a sustainable working life for young workers, enabling them to work productively 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 health, and to increase our knowledge on how to facilitate the inclusion of young workers in the labour market. Young workers are faced with potentially harmful exposures to hazardous work (e.g. heavy lifting) to a greater degree than older workers. Young workers are also at higher risk of occupational accidents compared with older workers. In additions, a significant proportion of young workers are temporary workers, working irregular/atypical working hours, and there is a decreasing employment rate among young adults in the Nordic countries.


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