Arbetsförmedlingen's international operation

Arbetsförmedlingen’s EU and international work is based on Sweden’s
membership of the EU, Sweden’s and the EU’s policy on international
development partnerships, and on the importance of interaction with
and knowledge of the outside world.

EU co-operation

Arbetsförmedlingen works with other EU Member States’ public employment services and the European Commission to help to ensure that the European labour market works as well as possible. This cooperation has been formalised through the European Parliament’s and Council’s decision211 on enhanced co-operation between the public employment services.

One central aspect of this EU co-operation is structured comparisons between the public employment services. The comparisons aim to identify good practices in order to develop the employment services’ efficiency and services. This form of exchange of experience and mutual learning is termed benchlearning. Structured comparisons are carried out by measuring defined quantitative indicators and qualitative aspects through so-called PES peer review visits in each Member State. Within the context of this work, Arbetsförmedlingen has acquired an important knowledge base, which is particularly useful in the agency’s ongoing process of change.

Matching within the EU

EURES is the European network of employment services and has the direct task of stimulating labour force mobility on the European labour market. Arbetsförmedlingen’s EURES operation helped 552 EU citizens find work in Sweden in 2015, mainly in occupations with a shortage of skilled labour. During the year, 1,454 Swedes also found work in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland. The most popular country for Swedes to seek employment in is Norway, followed by the UK and Denmark. A total of 7,680 employers in Sweden and other EU countries received help with recruitment, matching and information during the year.

Arbetsförmedlingen has been conducting a special mobility project, Your first EURES job, since 2013 which aims to make it easier for young people aged 18 to 35 to find work in another EU country, Norway or Iceland. In 2015, relocation support was granted through the project on a total of 971 occasions, including on 294 occasions to Swedish citizens.

Other international co-operation

In 2015, Arbetsförmedlingen carried out externally financed development partnerships in, for example, Southeast Asia, and in Africa south of the Sahara. A new project began in Belarus, and preparations were made for projects in countries such as Tanzania and Ukraine and for an international educational programme. The partnership projects are financed by Sida or the EU and aim to contribute to smoothly functioning public employment services in the partnership countries.

The results are often new services and methods for carrying out labour market forecasts and analyses, for example. In 2015, Arbetsförmedlingen’s three-year presidency of the World Association of Public Employment Services (Wapes) came to an end. During Arbetsförmedlingen’s presidency, the association extended its cooperation with other international organisations, while member states became increasingly interested in taking responsibility for events and undertaking commissions of trust.


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