It is becoming increasingly difficult to provide high-quality social services and care in rural and sparsely populated areas in the Nordic countries due to demographic changes, structural shortcomings and welfare cuts. The ageing population may lead to an increased need for health and care services, increased demand for labour, and reduced public income.
The aim of the study is to increase understanding of the needs and challenges regarding the organization, recruitment, skills development and further education of employees in the field of social services and care in sparsely populated areas in the Nordics. This will be based on the available data and forecasts. The further purpose of the study is to identify successful examples of initiatives aiming at promoting recruitment, skills development and further education of employees in the field of social services and care provision in SPAs and to identify examples of innovative ways of delivering social services. The examples may include, for instance, social innovation in service delivery, organisational innovation, as well as the successful integration of migrants in the local labour market.