Language education and the employment rate : A quantitative study examining the impact of language education on the employent rate of immigrants in Swedish municipalities
Abstract: This thesis studies the impact of language education on the employment rate of immigrants in Swedish municipalities. Based on previous research and the theory of Hermut Esser, it aims to find a positive correlation between learning the Swedish language and the employment rate of immigrants. The language knowledge is measured by a Swedish for immigrants(SFI) - language course, which is from 2018 an obligatory part of the integration plan. Therefore, this study tries to see if passing the SFI language course affects the employment rate of immigrants in Swedish municipalities. To examine the impact of passing SFI language course on the employment rate of immigrants, Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression analyses are used and data will be collected from Statistics Sweden (SCB) and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL). After analyzing 240 municipalities between the years 2013-2016, and controlling for different variables, the results show that the passing of the language course decreases the employment rate of immigrants. This result can be explained firstly by the fact that language is no longer a vital part on the Swedish labor market or secondly, by stating that the SFI-language course does not give the level of Swedish that is needed to gain access to the labor market. Further by adding dummy variables for the municipalities to control what is constant during time, the result is no longer statistically significant. This result means that there are important variables that vary in the municipality level, which are affecting the language education and the employment rate of immigrants. However, as SFI language course is important part of the integration program, and this study cannot prove correlation between employment and SFI, the quality and the importance of the course can be lightly questioned. Further studies are needed to explain the low employment rate of immigrants.
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