Makeshift Work in a Changing Labour Market
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Makeshift Work in a Changing Labour Market

The Swedish Model in the Post-Financial Crisis Era

Edited by Christina Garsten, Jessica Lindvert and Renita Thedvall

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, people who had never before had cause to worry about losing their jobs entered the ranks of the unemployed for the first time. In Sweden, the welfare state has been radically challenged and mass unemployment has become a reality in what used to be viewed as a model case for a full employment society. With an emphasis on Sweden in the context of transnational regulatory change, Makeshift Work in a Changing Labour Market discusses how the market mediates employment and moves on to explore the ways in which employees adjust to a new labour market. Focusing on the legibility, measurability and responsibility of jobseekers, the expert contributors of this book bring together an analysis of activation policy and new ways of organizing the mediation of work, with implications for the individual jobseeker.
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Chapter 8: Market-oriented relationships in working life: on the perception of being employable

Erik Berntson


At both the national and international levels, employability is emphasized as a key to attaining success in working life and to an ever-increasing extent it is also a requirement for the individual to be able to cope with the variations that increasingly occur in working life. The concept of employability has been highlighted in EU labour market directives as an important factor for achieving full employment in Europe (European Commission 1997) and has been implemented as one of the central goals of the EU’s joint training initiatives in the Bologna process (European Commission 1999). Employability has, however, also been brought forward as a concept in various national labour market and education policy strategies, for example in Denmark’s so-called flexicurity model (see, for example, Kongshøj-Madsen 2002), in labour market directives in Britain and the Netherlands (see, for example, Weinert et al. 2001), as well as in target documents of Swedish universities (see, for example, Stockholm University 2007). The increased occurrence of the concept is also seen in the research literature, in both occupational psychology (for example De Cuyper and De Witte 2008; Van der Heijde and Van der Heijden 2005) and management (for example Bloch and Bates 1995; Hind and Moss 2005).

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