The Shifting roles of Employers: At the Intersection of Employment and Social Work: A case study from Norway


  • Janne Paulsen Breimo Nord University
  • Cecilie Anvik Nord University
  • Terje Olsen Fafo Institute of Labour and Social Research, Oslow



Active labour market policies (ALMPs) are often seen as a panacea for dealing with labour market exclusion, especially when it comes to young people with mental health issues. Such policies demand considerable involvement from employers, placing more responsibility in their hands. Yet, there remains a notable knowledge gap concerning the actual role that employers play in processes of inclusion in the labour market. In this article, we provide knowledge about what employers do in order to include young people with mental health issues into the workforce, what roles they play in these processes, and what motivations underlie their endeavours. We argue that, due to organizational changes to occupational rehabilitation in Norway, employers must increasingly occupy a vacancy left open by social workers. While this situation has demanded further responsibility from employers, they are quite often insufficiently educated or trained to deal with such issues.We address what consequences this could have for young people with mental health issues striving to enter the labour market.

Author Biographies

Janne Paulsen Breimo, Nord University

Professor in Social Work

Cecilie Anvik, Nord University

Associate Professor in Sociology

Terje Olsen, Fafo Institute of Labour and Social Research, Oslow

Research Director


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How to Cite

Breimo, J. P., Anvik, C., & Olsen, T. (2021). The Shifting roles of Employers: At the Intersection of Employment and Social Work: A case study from Norway. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 22(2), 116-130.