Sweden is often singled out as having comparatively inclusive integration policy measures for migrants in general and refugees and their families in particular. Still, the employment gap between the native born and foreign born is among the largest among OECD countries, and the situation for refugees is especially difficult. Persistently high unemployment rates among refugees and their families have prompted the government to invest significantly in labour market integration. Since 2010 this is managed through a twoyear introduction program (Etableringsprogrammet) that includes Swedish language training, civic orientation and labour market training activities. All new arrivals aged between 20–64 have access to the introduction program. A ‘new arrival’ is a person who has been granted international protection and their family. The program is coordinated by the state through the Public Employment Service, but local municipalities are implementing a large part of the program, for example language training and civic orientation. An institutionalised multi-level governance structure has been developed over the years. The state is funding municipalities for initial costs related to the settlement of new arrivals, and is paying an introduction allowance for participants in the introduction program. Local and regional agreements are established to improve collaboration between the stakeholders. Asylum seekers and new arrivals have access to the labour market, and in line with the integration policy goal of equal rights, persons granted international protection have in general the same rights as citizens to access labour market and social services. However, no measures are taken to support asylum seekers to enter the labour market. Recent problems at the Public Employment Service has had negative impacts on the implementation of the introduction program, and municipal and regional bodies sometimes step in to complement existing labour market services which are supposed to be a state responsibility. This policy brief presents research findings from the GLIMER report Integration into the labour market and skills training in Sweden, and provides recommendations to facilitate the successful integration of asylum seekers and new arrivals in the labour market.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5082923