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Exploring Employability Constructions of Migrants in Sweden and Potential Consequences for Labour Market Entrance Recommendations

1
Department of Occupational Health Sciences and Psychology, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, University of Gävle, 801 76 Gävle, Sweden
2
Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(3), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9030026
Received: 9 December 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2020 / Accepted: 27 February 2020 / Published: 4 March 2020
In the flexible Swedish labour market, the concept of employability has grown important. Within a neoliberal framework, accountability for one’s possibility to successfully obtain or keep employment rests with the individual. In contrast, within a social welfare discourse the individual is offered care and support in order to gain employment. The present study combined intersectional and discourse analytical approaches with the understanding that individual employability is subjectively constructed in the exploration of labour market induction, employability constructions and categorizations in the discourse used by government agencies directly involved in the labour market integration of newly arrived migrants. Public documents comprising information on labour market entrance, employability and associated concepts such as competence building and career development were analysed. The employability constructions were often contradictory—placed at the crossroads of neoliberal and social welfare discourses—and built on tacit assumptions and influenced by stereotypes. Conveying such employability constructions further could lead to exclusion from long-term employment and have detrimental psychological and health repercussions. Instead, it is of importance to work towards reconstructing migrants’ employability in this new context without damaging influence from inflexible categorizations and stereotypes. View Full-Text
Keywords: employability; migration; labour market induction; newly arrived migrant employability; migration; labour market induction; newly arrived migrant
MDPI and ACS Style

Kusterer, H.L.; Bernhard-Oettel, C. Exploring Employability Constructions of Migrants in Sweden and Potential Consequences for Labour Market Entrance Recommendations. Soc. Sci. 2020, 9, 26.

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