The Swedish Public Employment Service, or Arbetsförmedlingen, is Sweden’s largest employment agency and the first port of call if you want to find a job – or find yourself without a job – in Sweden.
The duty of the employment agency is to get people who are looking for work together with the employers who need them. Though their mission is to do this in the most efficient way, it can still be complicated to locate all the resources Arbetsförmedlingen has to offer. YLC has put together a simple guide outlining the programs available through the Swedish Public Employment Service to help both job seekers and employers.
Arbetsförmedlingen’s General Role and Information:
Arbetsförmedlingen provide services to help job seekers find employment. The first step to gaining access to these services is to register yourself online on their website. This can take some time and it is useful to have someone who speaks Swedish to help you. Head to ‘Skriv in Dig’ to begin filling out your details on the website (skapa konto). Once you have done this, you have 2 weeks in which to attend your nearest Arbetsförmedlingen branch to register yourself in person. Make sure you bring all your important documents. You will then be paired with a service representative who specializes in your particular needs. An appointment will be made for you and the employment journey begins from here.
To get you started on your job hunt they will offer tips for writing your Swedish CV and lessons on interview techniques. Through their website you are able to post your CV, search the Platsbanken job postings and access search engines and links to other job sites.
They also hold recruitment meetings and information meetings with employers where you can apply for a job on the spot. You can also attend seminars about choosing the right profession for you. If you need more assistance, a job coach is available and can aid you with setting goals, preparing for interviews and a good deal more. We will expand further on these services in the coming weeks.
Most of the offices are open between Monday and Friday from 10 am until 4 pm (some larger branches until 6pm). On their website, you can chat with an employment officer Monday to Friday 8am to 10pm and weekends at 10am to 4pm.. You may also call 0771-416 416 , to get support from an employment officer seven days a week, lines are open on weekdays from 8 am to 10 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm.
Even more conveniently, there is now also an app for iPhone and Android, which can be downloaded free of charge. Through the app it is possible to access much of the information provided by the agency in either Arabic, English, Russian, French and Spanish.
Introduction activities for refugees:
The Swedish Employment Service provides assistance to asylum seekers who have received a residence permit. They have introduction activities to help you learn Swedish, find employment and begin to support yourself as soon as possible.
To be able to help you find employment they have to know what you are able to do and what you would like to do. This will be done by collecting information from you in a mapping session where you discuss your education, prior employment, goals, interests and abilities. It is important to bring any documentation from previous employment or education certificates you may have. Based on this mapping session, a plan will be made for you to find work or enroll in school.
An introduction plan contains; Swedish for Immigrants (SFI), employment training such as an internship, or validation of work experience, and a social orientation which will give you a basic understanding of Swedish society. To begin with, these activities will occupy 40 hours of your week. You will be assigned an introduction guide who will be responsible for helping you look for work, advising you on social issues, or with choosing your studies or occupation. It is also possible to receive housing help and compensation benefits.
Instegsjobb (Step-in Job):
Instegsjobb is a program offered to immigrants who have been granted a residence permit no more than two years ago. To be eligible you must be taking a course at SFI. Having Instegsjobb means your employer will receive a government grant to offset your earnings. This can be as much as 80% of your wage, but it can not exceed more then 800 Sek per day.
Instegsjobb subsidizes 75-80% of your full-time wage for six months. If you work part-time, you might be eligible for subsidization for up to 2 years.
It is a fantastic opportunity for newcomers to get into the Swedish employment system, and it is a great incentive for employers. Instegsjobb can be a part-time, full-time, until further notice, employment on trial, or for a time based contract position. Your employer has to confirm your wage and work conditions meet the terms of the collective agreements or they are equal to collectively agreed benefits within the industry.
To find out if you can apply for Instegsjobb, ask your Arbetsförmedlingen service representative when you go for your interview.
Nystartsjobb (New Start Job):
The New Start program is similar to Instegsjobb and is aimed at helping employers find new employees promptly while keeping payroll costs low at the same time. If you hire a person who has been unemployed for more than one year, or six months for young people, you can be given financial support of an amount of twice your payroll tax. This scheme helps employees get back into the workforce.
This subsidy is intended for all employers and is valid for permanent positions, temporary and part-time positions. The job does not necessarily need to be advertised in the Public Employment Service, but as an employer you are required to apply to the Public Employment Service for a New Start job for the person you wish to hire. The Public Employment Service then has to make a decision before employment begins.
Start-up Grants for new businesses:
The Swedish Employment Service offers support to job seekers with a business concept who would like to start-up their own business. To meet the criteria, you must be unemployed and registered with the Public Employment Service. They will then be able to assist you with a range of services, such as evaluating your business idea or providing direction in how to start up a new business.
The Public Employment Service in some cases is able to provide financial assistance for new businesses through the “Start-up Grants” program. Under this program you can get financial assistance for up to six months while working on getting your business off the ground.
The Start-up Grant would be equal to your unemployment insurance and you could still be qualified for it even if you are not eligible for unemployment benefits, but the grant would provide less money.
Swedish Construction Sector:
The construction industry in Sweden is divided into many different fields and a lot of the occupations require several years of education at secondary school and / or university. Through the Swedish Public Employment Service it is possible to attend supplementary courses or instruction if you already have experience from your native country.
It is important to register with the Swedish Public Employment Service if you are a job seeker in the construction sector. There you can meet with a consultant who is specialised in this sector and they will be able to assess what knowledge you have, and then they can provide you with the appropriate guidance.
What to bring to an Arbetsförmedlingen interview?
- ID card and personal number
- certificates and references from previous employments and/or trainee jobs
- certificates from studies
- occupational certificates and/or a training books
- licenses and other documents that the job seeker can to refer to
- *Any foreign academic education should be evaluated by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education.
As a free service to all residents, Arbetsformedlingen do provide many services that may be able to help you on your way. More information regarding the Swedish Public Employment Agency can be found here.
Finding work in Sweden isn’t always easy and one tip from established expats is to really put efforts in to learn the language. Also, keep an eye on the YLC job pages for English-speaking jobs in Stockholm.
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