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Alliance pledges millions to immigrant job scheme

Published: 11 Jun 2014 11:26 GMT+02:00

The government coalition released a debate article in Dagens Nyheter on Wednesday setting out a road map for their plans to improve integration and create jobs over the next few years - if they are re-elected. 

The Alliance - consisting of the Moderates, Liberal Party, Centre Party and Christian Democrats - blasted the opposition as "lacking policies to increase jobs" and thus having an "unemployment objective". 

Fleshing out propositions made at their pre-election convention on June 4th, the Alliance wrote that they want to allocate 88 million kronor ($13.2 million) to speed up immigrants' transition to the job market. 

"A large part of the jobs created since 2006 have gone to foreign-born workers. Now we want to further improve integration and work possibilities," the coalition wrote. "We want at least five million people to have jobs by 2020. That demands wide reforms."

Among other changes suggested, the parties proposed that Swedish language studies begin sooner and additional "refugee guides" be hired. Refugees arriving to Sweden would begin SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) classes much earlier – even while living at Migration Board accommodation, before finding housing. 

Opportunities to supplement foreign degrees would also be expanded, so that those with higher education can more quickly gain the Swedish requirements to continue their professions. 

"All those who can and want to work should have a job. Jobs give us not only a salary, but also colleagues, fika moments, and summer vacations," the Alliance wrote. "They give us skills and development opportunities. The chance to stand on our own legs gives us the security to shape our own everyday lives."

The proposed goal of 5 million employed by 2020 is about 350,000 more than today. The government's own forecast authority, Konjunkturinstitutet, determined in March that the current economical development will lead to 4,972,000 employed in 2020 - making the Alliance's goal seem not quite as ambitious as portrayed.

Earlier language studies would cost about 50 million kronor more per year than today, beginning in 2015. Additional refugee guides would cost 10 million kronor and supplemental education and merit translation is calculated at 28 million kronor per year. Party leaders Fredrik Reinfeldt (M), Jan Björklund (FP), Annie Lööf (C), and Göran Hägglund (KD) published the proposal together and wrote that the suggestions "are financed krona by krona". 

Solveig Rundquist
Follow Solveig on Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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