The Swedish Model in the Post-Financial Crisis Era
Edited by Christina Garsten, Jessica Lindvert and Renita Thedvall
Chapter 7: Transition programmes: a disciplining practice
In order to succeed in working life, it is not enough to simply do a good job or to develop in one’s profession. It is becoming increasingly important to be good at changing jobs. We speak today less and less about employment security and more and more about employability. While employment security places an emphasis on the security in the employment relationship between an employee and employer, employability stresses the importance of being attractive and in demand in the market (Garsten and Jacobsson 2004). In other words, people need to learn to be competent market actors. Transition programmes have become a central instrument in the Swedish labour market to increase people’s employability. These programmes involve activities aimed at providing guidance and counselling for how to look for a job and, in the best case scenario, bridge the time from redundancy to new employment for those made redundant and those at risk of losing their jobs. The programmes strive to offer a set-up that is realistically as work-like as possible, where people who have lost their jobs receive support on how best to proceed to find a new one. In this chapter, I argue that there is a discrepancy between talk and action in the transition programmes. The programmes are presented as being individually based on each person: people are regarded as independent actors who have a choice. Great importance is put on introspection and self-development.
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