To Work or not to Work : An empirical study that focuses on the effects of the largest employment programme of local unemployed workers in Växjö, Sweden.

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för nationalekonomi och statistik (NS)

Abstract: Employment programmes, or on-the-job training programmes, are designed to increase the likelihood of unemployed workers receiving work opportunities by providing actual work experience. Whether the unemployed workers lack human resources, obtained a degree in a foreign country or simply need a boost towards obtaining a new job, these programmes give workers the opportunity to execute tasks at organised firms and therefore strengthen their connection to the labour market.  The focus of this paper is towards a unique programme, called Arbetspraktik. This specific programme is designed with the intention to increase the labour market outcomes of unemployed workers. Geographically, Växjö has been selected as the main priority. The local focus is due to two reasons; firstly, the internship at the Swedish Employment Service in Växjö provided local support, insight and experience and therefore estimating local effects matched the purpose of the internship. The result of this thesis may also be used as informative research for the Swedish Employment Service where I performed my internship. Secondly, according to previous work, specific regions within a country are not looked at on a high frequency in Sweden and therefore focusing on regional effects could be beneficial to already existing studies. Previous research shows that the evaluation of these programmes has been done in many countries. Data for this study is obtained through the Swedish Employment Service. With the use of Matching and Propensity Scores, the findings claim that participants in Arbetspraktik have a 28.3% higher probability of receiving better outcomes than the controlled counterpart in Växjö. The interviews, despite having low observations, indicate that positive outcomes for trainees are a possibility and may be connected to the outcomes of the model. For example, trainees are shown to become more independent and productivity across trainees increases over time. Lastly, the interviews claim that trainees perform the same tasks as full-time workers, which is discussed to be a positive thing. Self-critique and tips for future research are presented at the end.

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