Spången – upskilling in care sector

A skills supply and job rotation programme in the City of Stockholm.

The programme offers up-skilling to employees within the City of Stockholm municipality preschool,

Europeiska Socialfondens logotyp

elderly care and disability care sectors, all of which are experiencing skills shortages. In this programme, current employees receive formal vocational training. During the their
participation in training, long-term unemployed people get a temporary position, training and coaching to fill the position of the employees on training.


  • Timeframe: 09/2018 – 07/2022.
  • Funded by the European Social Fund.
  • City of Stockholm, population above 960 000
  • Governing body Labour Market Administration, City of Stockholm

Main objectives

The aim is to create a model for sustainable skills supply in preschool and care sectors. Jobs in the care sector require upper secondary vocational training to ensure quality.

The key objectives of the programme are:

  • Strengthening the individual’s trust in their own ability.
  • Giving courage to further upskilling.
  • Strategic skills development work in the city.

Content and mode of delivery

In 2019, employers received an offer to give employees who lacked formal competence the opportunity to participate in vocational training at the upper secondary level, while maintaining their salary. The project recruited and trained temporary staff who replaced regular employees during the training period. Previously unemployed people were given a temporary position that included vocational training, coaching in the workplace and a development plan. The project upskilled colleagues to act as coaches in the workplace for the temporary staff. The project started as a job rotation project with the goal to offer up-skilling to 125 employees, 125 temporary staff and 50 coaches/mentors in the workplace. Due to the pandemic and discovered barriers among participants (e.g. social, lack of knowledge of the Swedish language and study techniques), the project needed to change its approach. Since 2021, the focus has gradually shifted to teach participants the Swedish language, IT skills and study techniques to be able to study further and become more confident in their work.


The main stakeholders in the project are:

  • Labour Market Administration, City of Stockholm.
  • Social Affairs, Education and Elderly Care Administration, Personnel Strategy Department.
  • European Social Fund

Key challenges, success factors and transferability

Key challenges:

  • Employers have high demands on the person who will substitute for regular staff.
  • Participation barriers: Lack of knowledge of Swedish is a major obstacle both at work
    and for studies; not having the digital skills needed to be able to study remotely, as
    was required during the pandemic; and lacking knowledge of study techniques.

Success factors:

  •  Close cooperation with employers.
  • Provide participants with the skills necessary to start studying at upper secondary level
    e.g. Swedish language, IT skills and study techniques.
  • Motivation is a driving force for participants to succeed in both studies and work.
  • Fewer students, 10-15, in classes during courses.


  • Implement an introductory programme that enables people to have the ability to study
    at the upper secondary level.

Films about the project

Motivation is a driving force

A film about the project’s participants (both employees and substitutes) from elderly care and disability care (05:40).

With the right conditions come opportunities

A film about Spången’s training for preschool staff with both teacher and participant perspective (03:46).

Communication is not just language

A film about Spången’s education in vocational Swedish with the perspective of both teachers, students and an employer (05:36).

Commitment and competence increase quality

A film about why a department manager at Disability Care chose to participate in Spången (03:43).