Imagine losing your job was not a disgrace but a great opportunity to improve in the workplace. It is a reality, and it happens in a small point of Europe
No matter how burned you are, losing a job is always a stick for anyone. If you have experienced it, you will know the stress of going through something like this: worries about income (or lack thereof), career and, sometimes, medical attention. But what if instead of something traumatic it became the best thing that could happen to you? Something like this happens in Sweden, thanks to a system designed specifically to get you a better job, in other words, to make progress.
It is known as the ‘transition system’ and it is a private social assistance service at the national level for workers who have been laid off. Companies pay ‘labor safety tips’ that provide trained trainers whose function is basically to improve your skills if you are out of date to return to the market much cooler. In total there are about 16 organizations, each of which covers a different sector of the economy and has the task of finding new jobs for those who have lost theirs, reports ‘BBC‘.
Work safety tips
What is the result of something like that? Sweden has the best reemployment rates in the developed world: approximately 90% of laid-off workers return to the labor market in less than a year, according to the OECD. It sounds as unreal to us as unicorns or fairies, but 24-year-old Eva has been able to see how the system works by itself. The graphic designer finished the university in 2016 and although her beginning seemed promising at the beginning of 2019 her company had to cut and she was fired.
By chance, speaking with different acquaintances, she first heard about the labor safety council. The plan covered her company, so she was automatically assigned to a coach before she even left work, it was he who detected failure or a weaker point in his Curriculum Vitae: technology had advanced and Eva needed more training. They paid to do an eight-week course at a communication school. All this increased her confidence and after several rejections, she got a new job with a significantly better salary.
“I am so happy,” says the one involved. “I probably would have gotten a job without the advice, but thanks to him I had a great experience, I also felt more secure. I knew I wasn’t alone, I could talk to my advisor whenever I wanted.” According to the coaches or advisors themselves, most people who come to them and get a new job think that the dismissal was the beginning of something very good. OECD data are enlightening: Swedish workers under 30 improve their salary after being laid off.
These tips offer help for a period of five years from the date of layoffs so that people continue to receive support if a new job does not work. The tech giant Ericsson, for example, has made many layoffs in recent years; however, the process has passed without relative problems, not only thanks to a dynamic labor market but also to the intervention of the council.
Sweden offers state-run work centres, which also strive to link unemployed people with job vacancies. The public service is dominated by the long-term unemployed or by unskilled people trying to find their first jobs, usually young people without secondary education and newly arrived immigrants.
The Swedish system is efficient and has attracted international attention, especially when compared to other European countries. The closest equivalent is the Transfermaßnahmen of Germany, or “transfer measures”, in which support for redundant workers is partly funded by the company and partly by the state. In most countries, there is no additional support for laid-off workers, apart from state plans. This applies in particular to the French system, but also to Belgium and the Netherlands, for example, although systems similar to Swedish are already being pursued in many other places in Europe.
Meanwhile, back to Sweden, Eva will start her new job in January in Stockholm. “It was a shock that I was fired,” she says, but can only give his blessings to the system. “The advice and support I received have gone fabulous,” she insists, “all the way I have travelled has led me to a better job where I earn more money.” A useful way to move forward, despite all the bumps that life can bring us.