Sweden addresses long-term unemployment risks

While Sweden’s employment rates are some of the highest in Europe, Ylva Johansson, Minister for Employment and Integration, says to mitigate the risk of it rising due to an influx of refugees, the country is focusing its efforts on education reforms and adult education.

“The labour market is not so regulated. Its mostly regulated by social partners in collective agreement so that’s quite flexible but the housing market needs some big reforms and the government is working on that because that, because that’s necessary. And, to answer your question – Of course there is a risk with the higher level of Long Term Unemployment. The crucial thing is not the labour market but the educational system because we have a quite high level of the lowest level of the adult population in the labour market because we have been investing in adult education very heavily for many years and we have very high survey of PIAC – OECD survey on Adult population and we are performing quite well. So this is a challenge.

“People are coming here – some of them without any schooling at all. Especially some women that didn’t have the chance to go to school in their home country because they were girls. And of course that is a challenge – How can we adjust the education system so that these people will be able to catch up the educational level so that they will be able to enter the labour market. But of course, we also need to help those who might not be able to catch up with the educational level that is normal in the Swedish labour market – to have step stones into the labour market also.”
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