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Public bodies to accept thousands of interns

Published: 26 Feb 2010 12:24 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Feb 2010 12:24 GMT+01:00

To meet labour market policy goals the Swedish Alliance government is now demanding that public authorities accept thousands of interns.

The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) alone is obliged to find work for 6,000 trainees under the government's "Lyftet" (Lift) scheme, according to the Dagens Industri business daily.

"When I received the letter I was convinced that they had written it wrong, that there was one too many zeros," said Elisabeth Bjar, HR director at the Swedish Tax Agency to the newspaper.

The government's "Lyftet" scheme is aimed at occupying some 130,000 unemployed people, but by January municipalities and counties had only accepted 20 interns. The state will instead now take on the interns.

Swedish labour minister Sven Otto Littorin told the newspaper that he is well aware that finding places for 65,000 interns within the state apparatus was unrealistic.

"It is a high target, which I am conscious that we will not meet with regards to state authorities. But at the same time I think that we have to put pressure on state authorities to actually take part, in the same way as we have asked the local authorities to do so," he told the TT news agency.

Littorin is also aware of the risk that trainees will not be given anything meaningful to do. But, he said, any activity is better than "just sitting at home and waiting for the benefits to arrive."

"Even if the work tasks may not be 100 percent perfect, it is still better to have somewhere to go, to feel that there are others around, that you are not just left alone to wait for the money," Littorin said.

Littorin rejected accusations from the ST union that the government is pushing the scheme to simply push down unemployment figures before the autumn election.

"It is of course not that at all, for the simple reason that these people are already unemployed. They remain registered as unemployed. So this is not an attempt to cook the books. However it increases the chance that they might return to work increases, and that is the whole point."

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:56 February 26, 2010 by krigeren
This is a stupid idea. Sweden does not need more government jobs it needs jobs focused on exports.
17:20 February 26, 2010 by skatty
It's a theory that the China wall and the pyramids in Egypt were built to solve the unemployed people at that time!

What about building a wall around Sweden, it's possible with 130000 unemployed!
17:23 February 26, 2010 by Renfeh Hguh
It is sad when a "right" wing Government uses leftist ideas to reduce unemployment.

@krigeren until the Government gets the balls to tackle the unions head on and change the employment laws, we will never have a private sector that will take the risk and soak up the excess labour supply this country has.

The Alliance is a gutless disappointment, but still it is better to have them and live in hope that they get some balls, after the next election, than to have the lefty loonies back in power again.
08:09 March 1, 2010 by Frobobbles
This means there will be no room to hire anyone in REAL public jobs. Thus it will lead to even MORE unemployment.
14:48 March 1, 2010 by Puffin
Basically the whole intern policy was a flop and now the government are trying to force state agencies to cover this up by demanding they accept huge numbers
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