OECD: Sweden on the right track to better introduction of new arrivals

Today, the OECD presented its report Working Together: Skills and Labour Market Integration of Immigrants and their Children in Sweden on integration in the Swedish labour market and in Swedish society. The report shows that Sweden has a highly developed and sustainable policy for reception and introduction, but that the large number of asylum seekers who arrived in 2015 has created new challenges.

In its report, the OECD highlights the importance of investing in education initiatives to enable new arrivals with low education levels in particular, but also those with a higher education, to enter the labour market. The OECD also emphasises the importance of introducing integration measures during the asylum process and improving collaboration between the Swedish Public Employment Service and municipalities. The need for supplementary higher education programmes and validation measures is also highlighted in the report, as is more support to accommodate young new arrivals into school and more proactive anti-discrimination efforts.

"It is an interesting and important report, and many of the OECD's recommendations are in line with initiatives taken by the Government to facilitate integration of new arrivals in the labour market and society at large. Fast tracks into the labour market for new arrivals, better validation, more education initiatives and Swedish language training from day one for asylum seekers – these are some of the measures which the Government has already taken," says Minister for Employment Ylva Johansson.

"Despite the many initiatives taken, several major challenges remain, not least because Sweden has received a large number of asylum seekers in a short period of time. Just like the OECD points out in
the report, the housing shortage and long waiting times for settlement pose a major challenge. It is valuable to receive an independent review of this important policy area, and it will be interesting to compare how Sweden performs in relation to other countries," says Ms Johansson.

Sweden is the first country to be reviewed in the context of the project on labour market integration initiated by the OECD. The fact that in 2015 Sweden had the highest per capita inflow of asylum seekers ever to be registered in an OECD country creates particular challenges, according to the OECD. In its report, the OECD studied the whole chain of support and measures offered to facilitate integration of new arrivals in Swedish society and the labour market.

Contact

Darina Agha
Acting Press Secretary to Minister for Employment Ylva Johansson
Mobile +46 72 708 16 27

Contact OECD

The authors of the report, OECD International Migration Division
Thomas Liebig
thomas.liebig[a]oecd.org

Emily Farchy
emily.farchy[a]oecd.org

Read and order the report on the OECD website

The report Working Together: Skills and Labour Market Integration of Immigrants and their Children in Sweden is available on the OECD website to read and download for printing. You can also order a printed version.