Towards refugee labour market integration: the case of Sweden
Sammanfattning: The Swedish integration policy has for a considerable time focused on the labour market integration in which different actors such as the Swedish Public Employment Service, Migration Agency, Municipalities, counties as well as non-governmental organisations and the churches come to play different roles in refugee integration. Refugees are introduced to the Swedish labour market and have their skills and educational qualifications validated by the Swedish Public Employment Service in preparation for the labour market. However, amidst this welcoming gesture towards refugees by the Swedish government, there is a growth in the anti-immigrant movements in Sweden posing a threat to refugee employability. The aim of this thesis, therefore, was to examine the major successes and challenges of the refugee integration policy in the Swedish labour market in relation to refugee employability. This was a qualitative study in which both primary and secondary data sources were used. A snowball strategy was used in identifying 8 respondents. The data was collected using an open ended survey and thematic analysis was eventually conducted. The study has revealed that the Swedish Integration Policy to a lesser extent helps refugees in finding employment in the Swedish labour market despite addressing language challenges and validation of skills and educational qualifications of the refugees. Based on secondary and primary data, many respondents found their employment through their social networks. It can therefore be concluded that social networks play the main role in refugee employability in the Swedish labour market which is often against policy and formal expectations. Refugees’ labour market integration opportunities are also determined by non -policy factors including stereotypes and prejudice.
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