Sweden: Refugee jobs reform 'not working'

Sweden: Refugee jobs reform 'not working'

Via the Local:
The government’s much touted integration policy reform has failed to ensure that refugees arriving in Sweden start the process of finding work before receiving welfare benefits from local authorities, a new study has shown.

Billed as the “most radical change to Swedish integration policy in 25 years” when it was announced in December 2010, the government's reform package gave Sweden’s Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) the main responsibility for coordinating the establishment of new arrivals in Sweden, rather than municipality social service offices.


The reform “breaks the handholding mentality and is clearly focused on ensuring that the newly arrived find jobs and learn Swedish quickly” integration minister Erik Ullenhag said at the time.

But a recent study by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), has found that betweeen 80 and 90 percent of the refugees arriving in several municipalities nevertheless received economic support from social service offices in the first six months of 2011.

The organisation also found the new system remained overly complicated, resulting in confusion on the part of refugees and civil servants alike.