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Sweden to boost job-matching programme for new arrivals

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Sweden to boost job-matching programme for new arrivals
In one of the projects, 73 of 176 people were hired after taking part in the scheme. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT
16:31 CET+01:00
Sweden is injecting a further 170 million kronor ($21.22 million) into a programme focused on matching newly arrived immigrants with jobs requiring their specific skills and competences.

The scheme, which is overseen by Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, was launched in 2017 with the purpose of not only helping migrants into the labour market, but to capitalize on people's special skills.

In one of the projects, run by staffing company Randstad and its subsidiary Antenn, 73 of a total of 176 newly arrived immigrants were hired after taking part in their programme, during which participants also received help with writing job applications and to prepare for job interviews according to a specific model.

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Thursday's government decision means that a further 170 million kronor will be injected into the scheme spread over a three-year period. The programme also covers trainee projects, mentor programmes for entrepreneurs, and other training to perfect the job-seekers' profiles.

Mohamed Nour Kaeid, who arrived in Sweden from Syria in 2014, told Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter about how he found a job thanks to the scheme.

"At first I thought that it was fake, that the staffing companies didn't tell the truth, but I thought I would give it a try anyway," he said, describing how he landed a job with truck-maker Scania after first undergoing language and motivational tests at Randstad and then receiving coaching to prepare for potential job interviews.

"I chose the right way to go. I received a lot of help from the staffing company to prepare for this and I'm very happy to be working as a fitter here today," he was quoted as saying.

Sweden's overall unemployment rate stood at 7.4 percent in January, down from 7.8 percent at the same time last year. Although there is still a significant unemployment gap between native Swedes and foreign-born job seekers, the numbers seem to be improving with more and more foreigners finding employment in Sweden. In January, 21.0 percent of foreign-born people in Sweden were registered as unemployed, down by 1.2 percentage units in one year.

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