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30 November 2009
A new bill presented to Parliament aims at giving the Swedish National Public Employment Agency (Arbetsformedlingen) greater responsibility for assistance in finding jobs for immigrant workers. A responsibility which currently lies with the country's 290 municipalities, Svenska Dagbladet reports.
The government wants to make a systemic shift in Swedish integration policy and offer assistance as soon as an immigrant is granted residency in Sweden.
The Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) disagrees with this proposal and has presented a report which shows that 9 out of 10 newly-arrived immigrants registered with Arbetsformedlingen last year did not receive any support at all.
SALAR study also reveals problems with Arbetsformedlingen's treatment of immigrants in terms of gender equality. According to the Association's findings, the employment agency offered assistance to newly-arrived immigrant men twice as often as to immigrant women.
Parliament is expected to take some time over discussing the controversial bill.