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Swedish Report: Only 34% Of Refugees Can Support Themselves After 15 Years

REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

A new report by the Swedish parliament shows just 34 percent of refugees can support themselves after living in the country for 15 years.

The report is an interpretation of various statistics from a number of government agencies. It shows 25 percent of refugees can support themselves without the help of welfare after eight years in Sweden, and 34 percent after 15 years.

About half of the migrants have some sort employment after eight years, but in many cases it is not sufficient enough to fully support them.

One of the common arguments in favor of taking refugees is that it will help fill the gap of an aging workforce. But only 10 percent of Syrian refugees have a college degree when they migrate, according to a December study by Ludger Woessmann, a professor of economics at the University of Munich.

Nearly two-thirds can’t read or write when they migrate, which will have long-term effects on unemployment rates.

“With two-thirds of young Syrians who must be regarded as functionally illiterate in accordance with international educational standards, so the necessary training to run local businesses is mostly missing,” Woessmann said in the study.

Age is a crucial factor when it comes integration. About half of refugees under the age of 25 can still get an education, but the ability to learn to read and write quickly fades during the late teenage years.

“We have to prepare ourselves that the majority of young refugees will fail three-year training courses that contain a high level of theory,” Woessmann said. “Seventy percent of trainees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq who started training two years ago have already dropped out.”

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