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Sweden: Education and job-training obligation for newcomers

The Swedish government has proposed regulatory changes in the area of social and labour market integration for newly arrived immigrants. These amendments, intended to be aligned with rules currently applicable for Swedish jobseekers, include an education obligation and a labour market programme.

Under the previous legislation adopted in 2010, newly arrived immigrants had a right to an introduction plan. With the new legislation, this right is removed and replaced with a referral to a labour market policy programme. A system of measures corresponding to what currently applies to other jobseekers will be introduced for newly arrived immigrants as well.

The Swedish government is also introducing an education and job-training obligation for newly arrived immigrants. The education and job-training obligation means that all newly arrived immigrants involved in the Swedish Public Employment Service's introduction measures, who are considered in need of education and job-training to find work, can be instructed to apply for and undertake these activities. Newly arrived immigrants who do not fulfil their obligations will not receive an introduction allowance (a daily compensation paid out to newly arrived immigrants to meet their basic needs of food, housing, etc.) 

The regulatory changes also includes structural adaptations. The processing of the introduction allowance will be moved from the Swedish Public Employment Service to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.

The new rules will enter into force on 1 January 2018. Though the budget proposition has not been voted on in parliament The Government has however secured majority and it should be voted later on during the fall.