• Economic integration?
• Social integration?
• Political integration?
• Personal integration?
7. …in contrast to assimilation?
• Cultural and symbolical reshaping of behaviour and values of certain
groups in line with norms of the majority.
• EU:s first principle of integration:
• Integration is a dynamic, two-way process of mutual accommodation by
all immigrants and residents of EU countries.
8. Swedish integration policy
• December 2010: The Public Employment Office became
responsible for integrating newly arrived immigrants (Prop.
• The ”Establishment reform” of December 2010 aims at giving
newly arrived a faster and more effective establishment on the
• The reform targets refugees and their relatives.
9. Swedish integration policy
• Main changes:
• The state – via Public employment office - instead of municipalities are
now responsible for the introduction of newly arrived refugees.
• A greater focus on a quick path to employment and self-suffiency.
10. But why?
• The time from arrival to employment is too long (average 7
• This is described as a personal tragedy for the migrant.
• This is described as a burden for society – both social and
11. What´s at stake?
• Swedens competitiveness!
• And as a consequence – Welfare!
• ”Among those who have immigrated to Sweden, there are
many persons whose competence and knowledge is not used.
These people could contribute to the economic growth if they
were employed.” (Swedish ESF-council 2009: 22)
12. What´s the remedy?
• To utilize the skills and strenghten the compentence and
motivation of immigrants.
• Increase their employability.
13. How is this to be done?
• ”Introduction talk” with the Public employment office – As soon
• ”Introduction plan”: Describes the activities that should support
the newly arrived on her/his ”path to the labour market”.
• Introduction activities is full time and consists of:
• Swedish for Immigrants (Sfi)
• Societal orientation
• Preparation for participation on the labour market (validation of past
working experience and education, work placement)
• Approximately 600 Euro/month – introduction benefit.
15. Is this compulsory?
• But, if one does not attend the activites prescribed by the
introduction plan – no pay.
16. Introduction Guide
• The newly arrived has the right to choose a guide to help their
establishment in Sweden.
• The introduction guide is supposed to share their networks of
employers, and to be a helping hand in the introduction to
• Introduction guide can be provided by a private company or
civil society organization.
17. Labour market - integration
• Conclusion: Labour market policies and integration policies are
18. What about EU?
• It is clear that Sweden is following a well established trend
within EU policy:
• ”Employment is a key part of the integration process and the
effective integration of immigrants into the labour market .“
• ”Immigrants represent an important pool of potential
entrepreneurs in Europe.”
• Com (2007) Third Annual Report on Migration and Integration
19. Employability in policy
• Employability has been a widespread labour market policy
perspective since 1990s.
• OECD and EU embrace the notion of employability.
• Tend to focus more on the supply side of labour, in contrast to
the demand side – the creation of jobs.
20. Employability in Swedish integration policy
• “People who are not immediately employable should receive
support to become employable.” (Empowerment against social
exclusion (2008) p. 43)
21. Critical remarks?
• Workfare – increasing focus on duties instead of rights.
• Swedish self-image of a modern, democratic and gender equal
nation - contrast to images of ”the Others” as backwards,
authoritarian and patriarchal.
• On a policy level: Sweden is a ”good example”.
• But still, ethnic segregation, ethnified class patterns, unemployment is
higher among foreign born – especially outside of Europe.
22. Integration and employability in practice?
• ”It could be an immigrant woman, 49 years old, been three
years at SFI [Swedish for immigrants], can´t even speak every-
day swedish, illiterate, never had a job in her home country,
never been to school in her home country. Often comes from
the middle east, arab speaking.” (Job coach)
23. The project leader
• Our participants [in the project] are the ones who are furthest
from the labour market.
• Most of them has been unemployed for 5 – 20 years.
• Many clients are old, 55- 60 years.
• We have to work hard to break up arab speaking groups in the
project – so we can meet!
• The facilities are not functional for other things than sitting
round a table and talk: What can you do with six sewing
machines in an abandoned library, in a worn-down building with
24. The participants are described as…
• Having a problematic history.
• Lacking enthusiasm and belief in the future.
• Women, who due to cultural and religious traditions, can not
enter the labour market.
25. Integration as assimilation?
• Swedish norms and unwritten laws on the labour market.
• The employable individual is a normative category.
26. But still…
• A social arena for meeting other people – integration!
• The gap between policy and practice can be seen both
statistically: Immigrants have higher rate of unemployment:
• Foreign born unemployment: 15,8 %
• Swedish born unemployment: 6,8 %
• Source: SCB 2012 (Central bureau of Statistics)
• And in a qualitative way: The gap between the unruly reality
where integration ought to be practiced and the policies of