Fast Track

In 2015, the Swedish government launched the Snabbspåret programme, to train, in partnership with the State Employment Service and stakeholders in various employment sectors, recently arrived immigrants in Sweden and so facilitate their rapid inclusion in the labour market.

Fact Sheet

  • Original name: Snabbspåret.

  • Geographical scope: Sweden.

  • Promoting organisation: Swedish government Swedish State Employment Service.

  • Target groups: Migrants with a residence permit and some employment
    or educational qualifications.

  • Launch year: 2015.

1. Context

In Sweden, several economic sectors generate a demand for skilled labour. As a result, it is necessary to integrate new arrivals into the labour market as soon as possible.

2. Goals

  • To cover the shortage of skilled labour by enhancing the employability of immigrants with a residence permit. 

  • To encourage immigrants to enter the labour market within two years of their arrival. 

  • To ensure that new arrivals find a job that matches their skills.

3. Intervention

Snabbspåret was launched in 2015 and currently comprises 14 programmes: cooks, the food industry, the energy industry, real estate, health care, painters, construction workers, lorry drivers, schoolteachers, social science professionals (sociologists, economists and lawyers), social workers, nurses, vets and workers in the timber industry.  It is managed by the State Employment Service, which is responsible for coordinating with employers, unions and training centres. Each “fast track” is designed bearing in mind the demands of the corresponding production sector and the immigrants’ needs.

Some of the elements present in these initiatives are: 

  • Language learning on arrival at the asylum centre. 

  • Early assessment of new arrivals’ experience, skills and motivation. 

  • Facilities for validation of studies. 

  • Rapid orientation towards the career profile that is judged to be most suitable. 

  • Learning of the terminology specific to each professional area. 

  • Complementary professional training as needed (in some cases provided in the beneficiaries’ mother tongue). 

  • On-the-job language support, supervision and tutoring. 

Participation in the programme is compatible with receiving certain social benefits and specific assistance for transport and accommodation. 

4. Results

Although no detailed longrange assessments have yet been published, the available studies yield promising results:

  • According to data for December 2018, 39% of the participants in the Snabbspåret programmes were employed within 13-15 months, and 50% within 19-21 months. However, according to the Swedish State Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen), job placement was notably lower among women than among men.

  • In the case of the “fast track” for schoolteachers, a qualitative assessment (Bengtsson and Mickwitz, 2019) shows that participants felt that the programme had helped them to achieve a good level of Swedish and strengthen their motivation to work in teaching.