This study examines the intersection of race, gender and class in the integration of Syrian refugees into the Swedish labour market and the mechanisms they utilize to find employment. The empirical data was analysed using the content analysis method and interpreted by taking an intersectional approach. Findings show that integration programmes in Sweden are focused particularly on speeding up the integration into the labour market of highly educated and qualified refugees. From a gender perspective, considering the fact that on average female refugees have a lower level of education than their male counterparts, they might receive fewer benefits and support from integration programmes. However, even highly qualified and well-educated refugees struggle to access the labour market and they do not consider the integration programmes and the Swedish Public Employment Service as effective in accessing the labour market. Participants in this study acknowledged three main mechanisms that facilitate integration into the labour market: using social networks, the web of migration-related jobs created by civil society organizations and obtaining a Swedish degree. Thus, by scrutinizing these integration programmes and mechanisms, we can gain a better understanding of the inequality entangled in the integration process and which in-groups of refugees might be more privileged to access the labour market. © 2024 selection and editorial matter, Karolina Sobczak-Szelc, Marta Pachocka, and Justyna Szalanska.

DOI: 10.4324/9781003228967-11

ISBN: 9781003814573; 9781032116662