Employers ‘reluctant’ to hire foreigners: report

Employers 'reluctant' to hire foreigners: report
Sweden needs to hire more foreigners, but Swedish employers remain reluctant to hire them due to barriers of language and distance, a new report from Sweden's job agency found.

The agency’s report, International Recruitment and Labour Migration, (Utlandsrekrytering och arbetskraftsinvandring), was based on interviews with almost 1,000 employers in Sweden.

The results found that employers often choose not to hire foreigners – in most cases because they lack the necessary Swedish skills to contribute to the work force. Other reasons cited in the study for shunning foreigners include the difficulty in evaluating qualifications and skills acquired abroad, plus the difficulties of getting into contact with potential candidates who are abroad.

With record numbers of workers in Sweden heading toward retirement and an education system that often can’t meet the demands of the labour market, the country finds itself ill-prepared for the next period of high economic growth, according to the report.

“We hope the results will contribute to a discussion and continued investigation into what can be done to put the spotlight on international recruitment labour migration,” Linda Pärlemo, report investigator at Arbetsförmedlingen, said in a statement.

The survey found that just 10 percent of the employers questioned would “certainly or probably” hire someone from abroad over the next two years.

The report concluded that labour migration was one of the “plausible solutions”. However, labour migration remains low in Sweden despite the liberal rules for foreigners seeking to work in the country.

In 2012, just 27,100 work permits were granted in Sweden, corresponding to around 0.6 percent of the total employed population in the country.

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