More and more people face language tests for staff in elderly care

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More and more municipalities in Sweden introduce language tests when hiring staff for elderly care. The advocates believe that the quality of care will be better – further obstacles for people who were not born in Sweden to enter the working life, according to the critics. In Kungälv, for a few months now, the municipality has been testing the knowledge of Swedish on those who are looking for a job in elderly care. – We want to send the right candidate to the right place, that the users get the right help and support in the end, explains the head of planning and recruitment, Cathrine Hellström Rosenlöf. More and more municipalities follow Kungälv’s example and have different types of language tests when hiring staff for elderly care. According to the government, a lack of language skills among those who work with the elderly is a problem, and therefore a little over a week ago, an investigation into future language requirements was appointed. “Another threshold” But according to several labor law experts TV4 Nyheterna spoke to, language tests could be discriminatory and in Kungälv the left party was against the introduction. – They try to take a shortcut by introducing language tests, it becomes another threshold for people who already have many thresholds, those who have another language. It doesn’t solve the problem that we have too few applicants for these jobs, says the chairman of the left-wing party in the municipality, Andreas Antelid. When Sara El-Tallis applied for a job in elderly care in Kungälv a few months ago, she and the others who would be hired had to take a test to see how good their knowledge of Swedish was. – I didn’t know what was to come, so it was quite nervous at the beginning. But then it went well, says Sara, who is positive that the tests are being done. See the interview with Sara in the player above.