One hour makes a difference Inclusion in society and its labor market represents a major challenge in Sweden. In recent years, Sweden has seen the greatest levels of immigration since the 1990s and, while this in several ways contributes directly to the country’s economic growth, segregation is increasing, skilled labor is being left unutilized and foreign-born people are being excluded. The time it takes to settle and find a job is simply too long. Studies show that it takes an average of 7-8 years for a foreign-born person to find employment in Sweden. Finding successful ways to address the challenge of inclusion requires the public sector, businesses, civil society and private individuals to work together.
Axfoundation’s work with diversity, settling in and integration is rooted in people’s equal value and the belief that diversity is an important asset for Sweden’s development. Physical meetings are a useful way of reaching cross-cultural understanding and can be important steps in stopping the increasing level of segregation in Sweden. In order for people to find the time and mobilize the courage to take part in integration activities, the threshold for engagement must be low. This is why Axfoundation launched ÖppnaDörren (Open The Door). Since the start in 2015, over 58,000 new and established Swedes have met. Now, it’s time to scale up, scale out and dig into new opportunities.