Forcing immigrants to move to areas with housing, but no jobs, has harmed integration. Reforms in the 1980s, when responsibility for dealing with refugees was transferred from national to local government, are highlighted by the OECD as another reason for high immigrant unemployment. Previous policies that promoted employment have been replaced with promotion of social benefits and education.
The report was presented on Monday at a conference at the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg. The OECD notes Sweden’s very high proportion of refugee and family-related immigration compared with other countries.
In addition, an increasing number of immigrants come from countries with cultures very different to Sweden’s. This, the report says, makes it more difficult for people to find work.
The OECD predicts that demand for labour will increase as the population ages, and argues that programmes to deal with this are needed now. Among the suggestions are diversity programmed in workplaces and a better system for evaluating foreign qualifications.