Jobs, Jobs, and More Jobs
One million of Sweden’s inhabitants were born outside the country. There are 700,000 children here whose parents come from abroad. In the media and political debate this group are called “immigrants”. It is a very heterogeneous group, including both high and low income earners. But the term “immigrants” has over time been associated with those who suffer from poor social circumstances.
There are many problems. Some examples: 81 percent of those born in Sweden study or work, but only 64 percent of those born abroad. Only 52 percent of students with immigrant parents finish their studies, compared to 70 percent for students with Swedish parents.
The Social Democrats, Left, and Green parties focus on subsidized jobs, schools, and housing. The opposition alliance’s solutions for the problems of integration are to abolish payroll taxes and changes in Swedish instruction.
The Social Democrats, Left, and Greens have agreed on:
- Making permanent the current trial of a system where new employees have a support person
- Extra funding to the International Business Association (IFS) and others
- Teacher training annually for 300 students with foreign diplomas
- Extension of a special one year university course aimed at helping immigrant university graduates find jobs
- 1000 resource people to be employed at 100 schools in segregated areas
- More rental apartment buildings to be built in areas with single family dwellings, and more houses built in areas with many rental apartments
- Extra funding for centers for young people, local anti-discrimination offices, and for care for the elderly in other languages
The Left also wants public employers to stop using services from companies which discriminate. The Greens want state loans for businesses in socially deprived areas.
The center-right have several proposals regarding integration:
- New jobs without payroll taxes for three years for everyone with a Permanent Residence Permit. During this period they will also study Swedish
- Swedish for immigrant courses to be replaced with vouchers so students can choose their schools
- Faster validation and certification of immigrants’ education and job experience
- Increased damage compensation for discrimination
- Trials of a system where new arrivals do not get lose welfare benefits if they have jobs
- Work and development guarantee: job-seeking help and practical training at 65 percent salary
The parties differ on other issues. The Conservative Moderates, Christian Democrats, and Liberals, for example, want trials of anonymous job applications.
The Conservative Moderates want to abolish the Swedish Integration Board.
The Liberals want three hours of free daycare with Swedish language instruction and a Swedish requirement for citizenship.
The Christian Democrats want to ban Nazi and racist organizations.