Logotype The Swedish NAO

Poor knowledge of how the Swedish Public Employment Service's preparatory training scheme for newly arrived immigrants works

Almost 40 per cent of participants in preparatory training for newly arrived immigrants have left the Swedish Public Employment Service (PES) after four years. Of those fewer than one in three has a job, but many of them were neither working nor participating in labour market measures. Among those who are registered with the PES after four years, almost one in four has some type of employment.

Kompass och dator liggande på ett bord.

Audit background

In 2010 the Swedish PES was given responsibility for coordinating the introduction system in accordance with the Act on introduction activities for certain newly arrived immigrants (2010:197). The reform meant that the responsibility for introducing newly arrived immigrants was transferred from municipalities to the PES The overall purpose of the reform was to facilitate and speed up introduction of newly arrived refugees and their families. Preparatory and orientation training is the most common introduction activity, and is also one of the PES’s largest measures. In 2017 there were 75,000 participants in the measure, 42,000 of whom as part of the introduction system. Preparatory and orientation training consists of several different types of training, and within the introduction system the most common are Knowledge validation and Occupational Swedish. The cost of preparatory and orientation training totalled SEK 2.2 billion during the year.

The Swedish NAO has previously audited the preparatory and orientation training scheme. A first report (2016:21) scrutinised the PES’s governance, use and follow up of the measure. A second report (2017:20) investigated the impact of participation in preparatory and orientation training, on the participants’ earnings, and other outcomes. The first report showed that the governance allows employment officers the opportunity to use the measure in a flexible way, and that the measure is sometimes used to ensure the activity level for participants in the introduction system. The audit also showed that follow-up and analysis of the results of the measure could be improved. Knowledge about the outcomes for participants can be used to develop the activity and to ensure that the measure is used in the best way possible. The second report was limited to participants in preparatory and orientation training outside the introduction system, and on average showed negative impacts of participation in preparatory and orientation training as a first measure, compared with not participating in any programme or with participating in work placement. However, for people born outside Europe and for people with an educational level up to pre-secondary school the effect was positive. Participants in the introduction system were not included in the analysis, since it was not deemed possible to examine the impacts for participants in the introduction system using register-based analysis. But since the majority of participants in preparatory and orientation training are included in the introduction system, the Swedish NAO considers that it is important as far as possible to study participants’ outcomes. Consequently, this report supplements the previous report (2017:20) and is included in the framework of the same audit. Knowledge of outcomes for participants in various measures is fundamental for effective use of the resources allocated to the PES and its activities.

Press contact: Olle Castelius, phone: +46 8-5171 40 04.

Presskontakt: , telefon: 08-5171 42 06.

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Updated: 15 August 2018

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