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Access to a dynamic labour market is important for the future of rural youth, and educational opportunities must be matched to potential employment. A dynamic rural labour market must also allow for new jobs and remote work, e.g., by enabling young people to participate in public administration and policy-making at local, regional and national levels, and to work in technologically advanced companies elsewhere, as well as national agencies and authorities. 
As remote work and remote studying require only a laptop and internet access, rural municipalities should invest in creating communal meeting places, meeting rooms and open workspaces, in order to create a sense of community in rural areas, so that young people see them as viable places to live. This is also crucial for spurring entrepreneurship, bringing people together and creating spaces in which young people can test or develop their ideas. 
The labour market cannot be seen in isolation from other needs of young people. Affordable housing is just as important as rural job opportunities.
We recommend: 
  • Establishing rural public offices and hybrid workspaces to enable rural youth to participate in hybrid working in their local area, while also reaping the social benefits of a regular workplace. 
  • Providing rural grants to establish public offices for companies who move part of their business to rural areas. This will encourage companies to offer more remote and hybrid work opportunities.
  • Investing in makerspaces and innovation centres to provide rural start-ups and entrepreneurs with facilities and access to technology, equipment, and business courses. This will increase the number of businesses and make rural labour markets more dynamic.
  • Establishing “rural internship” roles by nurturing collaboration between universities or vocational education and rural companies. This will create opportunities for young people in rural areas to gain experience of the labour market.
  • Focusing on the connection between the local labour market and housing provision to enable young people to move to rural areas for work. 
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