• Sweden edition
 
Hundreds of great job opportunities for foreign professionals at Sweden's top employers - in cooperation with Monster, Experteer, Stepstone, and CareerBuilder.
What
Where
977
jobs available
Find English-speaking professionals with The Local.
Advertise a vacancy

Refugee jobs reform 'not working': report

Published: 14 Sep 2011 11:32 CET

Billed as the “most radical change to Swedish integration policy in 25 years” when it was announced in December 2010, the government's reform package gave Sweden’s Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) the main responsibility for coordinating the establishment of new arrivals in Sweden, rather than municipality social service offices.

Instead, remuneration would be dependent on participation in various establishment programmes, which would include a course in society orientation.

Refugees would also receive an establishment guide form the employment agency that would help them draw up a plan for securing employment.

The reform “breaks the handholding mentality and is clearly focused on ensuring that the newly arrived find jobs and learn Swedish quickly” integration minister Erik Ullenhag said at the time.

But a recent study by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), has found that betweeen 80 and 90 percent of the refugees arriving in several municipalities nevertheless received economic support from social service offices in the first six months of 2011.

The organisation also found the new system remained overly complicated, resulting in confusion on the part of refugees and civil servants alike.

In carrying out the study, SALAR contacted 17 municipalities which account for roughly a quarter of the refugees that arrived in Sweden between December 2010 and May 2011.

The study also found that in ten of the seventeen municipalities, funds provided by the government were insufficient to cover the social benefits paid to new arrivals.

“The association finds it worrying that state handouts don't cover the costs and are in a relatively large percentage of the municipalities [followed in the study],” SALAR wrote in its report.

“In the future, it risks affecting municipalities' offerings and quality when it comes to accepting refugees.”

The results also raise concerns that interaction with social services has remained a major focus of newly arrived refugees' initial time in Sweden, something that the government's “sweeping” integration reform was supposed to counteract.

According to SALAR, the current system is “hard to understand and unpredictable” which “makes it harder for new arrivals' ability to plan their finances”.

Among the stumbling blocks identified by SALAR are delays from the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) in issuing personal identity numbers (personnummer), which is a prerequisite for dealings with other public agenices.

In addition, employment agency officials are often slow to draw up establishment plans for new arrivals.

Speaking with the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper after the release of the report, Ullenhag said his ministry was aware of problems and that the reform needed to be adjusted.

“We're putting a lot of effort into pushing state agencies so that jobs remain the focus,” he told the newspaper.

“You have to remember that with the old system, it could take a year before a new arrival come near the employment agency.”

Ullenhag reiterated that the reforms are only six months old and that his ministry was “following it closely and have been humbled by the difficulties” it has presented.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)


Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article:

The comments below have not been moderated in advance and are not produced by The Local unless clearly stated. Readers are responsible for the content of their own comments. Comments that breach our terms and conditions will be removed.

ADD YOUR COMMENT   (YOU MUST LOG IN OR REGISTER TO MAKE A COMMENT)
Your Swedish Career
For this week's My Swedish Career we meet Leigh Neil, who one day came to realize that there was a gap in the Swedish market for children's toys and decided to do something about it.
You've landed a job interview at a Swedish company, but how should you approach it? Peter Helin - Marketing Coordinator at careerbuilder.se - has given his top tips to The Local.
For this week's My Swedish Career we meet Faustine Rostand, who came to Sweden as an exchange student and fell in love - with the culture. But she told The Local she has found it tricky adapting to Sweden as a French woman.
For this week's My Swedish Career we meet a Canadian who came to Sweden for love and now works in Lidköping, custom-making guitars.
Surf's up with The Local's Swedish Career chat this week. We've taken a turn from the norm and talked to John Brodie who's kicking off what looks like a promising career in surf writing.
American Scarlet Vikarby owns a home theatre installation business. She talks to The Local about owning a company, how being a woman can be a game changer, and how to overcome reserved Swedes.
Swedish Employment News
For this week's My Swedish Career we meet Leigh Neil, who one day came to realize that there was a gap in the Swedish market for children's toys and decided to do something about it.
You've landed a job interview at a Swedish company, but how should you approach it? Peter Helin - Marketing Coordinator at careerbuilder.se - has given his top tips to The Local.
For this week's My Swedish Career we meet Faustine Rostand, who came to Sweden as an exchange student and fell in love - with the culture. But she told The Local she has found it tricky adapting to Sweden as a French woman.
For this week's My Swedish Career we meet a Canadian who came to Sweden for love and now works in Lidköping, custom-making guitars.
Surf's up with The Local's Swedish Career chat this week. We've taken a turn from the norm and talked to John Brodie who's kicking off what looks like a promising career in surf writing.
Social Democrat party leader Stefan Löfven announced on Friday his "most important election promise", a 90-day job guarantee programme for young Swedes.

THG is hiring for the Stockholm office!
THG is looking for International Sports Sales Executives to sell their VIP hospitality facilities at major sports events.
FULL JOB AD »

International Sales - Stockholm based
Marcus Evans is looking for International Sales Executives
FULL JOB AD »

Mercuri Urval
Huskvarna
Stepstone
Added 10/26/14

VIA Egencia (Expedia Europe)
Sweden Stockholm
Stepstone
Added 10/25/14

Michael Page
Stockholm
Careerbuilder
Added 10/25/14

Michael Page
Stockholm
Careerbuilder
Added 10/25/14

Page Personnel
Stockholm
Careerbuilder
Added 10/25/14

Capgemini
Växjö
Careerbuilder
Added 10/25/14

Michael Page
Göteborg
Careerbuilder
Added 10/25/14

Alten (fd Xdin)
Eastern US
Careerbuilder
Added 10/25/14

Alten (fd Xdin)
Eastern US
Careerbuilder
Added 10/25/14

Alten (fd Xdin)
Eastern US
Careerbuilder
Added 10/25/14