“It’s a financial decision as the government was not in a position to give us the extra resources to pay for this programme any longer. It is basically a case of resources and prioritizing what the government wants the money to be spent on,” Clas Olsson, acting director-general for Arbetsförmedlingen told The Local.
The scheme was introduced in 2008 following the financial crisis to help the increasing numbers of newly unemployed to get back in the labour market. Candidates would get one-to-one coaching from a jobs expert at their local agency usually on a weekly basis for a period of three months.
It was reported earlier this year that Arbetsförmedlingen had outsourced part of its job coaching work to private firms. SVT revealed that private sector job coaching firms were earning double-digit profit margins from taxpayer funded contracts and that Arbetsförmedlingen had shelled out 4.7 billion kronor ($72 million) to private firms since 2008.
Olsson added that involving the private sector in job coaching was originally done to promote competition and improves a candidate’s chances of finding work.
“There were some examples where it showed that the people doing the job coaching were producing the same results as those working in our employment offices. That was not particularly cost effective as the external job coaches cost more,” he said.
At present there are 2,600 people in Sweden enrolled in the programme which is a figure much lower than the 39,000 in other programmes created by the Swedish jobs agency.
A typical candidate who signed up for job-coaching would be given an appraisal by an expert on their first meeting. Subsequent meetings would usually involve CV coaching and interview techniques with bonus one-to-one sessions for candidates who had landed a job interview.
Arbetsförmedlingen will no longer be accepting applicants on the job coaching program at the end of September. Candidates who are already signed up can continue to attend sessions until their three month program is complete.