Newly arrived immigrant women in the Swedish municipality of Oskarshamn are set to receive free driving lessons in Arabic in a bid to help make it easier for them to enter the labour force.
So far, twelve women have been enrolled in the new programme, entitled “Now We Drive,” and the programme covers driving lessons as well as other supplemental lessons in Arabic on how the labour market in Sweden works, broadcaster SVT reports.
Pamela Campusano, who works as a supervisor for the municipalities labour market unit, said that newly arrived women lacked driving licenses which pushed them away from labour market integration.
So far the local government has put forward 378,000 Swedish krona (£30,885/$40,537) for the project and according to Campusano, the project has already begun to show results.
“It has exceeded expectations, I would say. It is a group that is committed, motivated and they really take responsibility for acquiring the knowledge. According to the traffic school, it will be very good for these girls,” Campusano said.
Sweden: Around 90 Per Cent of 2015 Migrants with Residency Status Are Unemployed https://t.co/G4IhlnXBCx
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 6, 2019
High unemployment numbers among foreign-born nationals have been an issue that has plagued Sweden for years, with reports often showing the migrant unemployment rate as being several times higher than that of native Swedes.
Figures regarding recent migrants, particularly those who have come to Sweden since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, are even more severe. A report from October claimed that as many as 90 per cent of migrants with permanent residency status are unemployed.
In recent months, many municipal governments have also begun to feel significant financial pressures due to the lack of labour market integration of migrants combined with other factors such as an ageing population.
In the municipality of Filipstad, local politicians have complained that not only have recent migrants failed to get jobs in the area but many locals are leaving, creating a crisis in the already strained local tax base.
Arabic Classes Overtakes English and French in Sweden https://t.co/9qI7u7YLdS
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 17, 2018