Helping immigrant professionals find employment
Ida Muncker AT PA CONSULTING GROUP AND SERDAR KORKMAZ at ACADEmic Power | Aftonbladet | 11 April 2015
To read full article in Swedish click here
Ida Muncker, has a byline article published in Aftonbladet explaining the importance of integrating highly educated immigrants into the Swedish labour market.
PA is collaborating with the education unit, Academic Power, in Botkyrka to run a five month training programme. As part of this collaboration PA provides coaching and gives participants the opportunity to develop their interview technique and put their skills to the test in a ‘real-life’ interview situation. On average it takes six to seven years for foreign-born academics to break into the Swedish labour market and this programme is designed to speed up the process.
The article highlights how the programme has already trained 136 people and achieved a strong success rate. Six months after completing the programme, 63 percent have found work and 67 per cent of them have a job within the area they are qualified in.
Ida says: “We have met many driven and talented newcomers. One such person is Diana, a Syrian engineer living in Botkyrka, who came to Sweden as a refugee in December 2013. Through the programme, she now has an internship at Skanska and has a good chance of getting a permanent job.
The entire programme, which is partly funded by the EU integration fund, costs around two million krona per year. We would encourage other municipalities to create similar programmes, using the best practice model implemented by Academic Power.
The article highlights the following points which are important to keep in mind:
- set high standards for skills in the Swedish language so participants dare to express themselves
- require two months training in Swedish through ‘Swedish For Immigrants’
- focuses on the individual's goals.
- provide personal mentors from the business community
- provide contacts within society and authorities such as the employment service.
In Botkyrka alone there are currently around 3,600 foreign graduates compared to Sweden's 310 000. Based on the success of the scheme Botkyrka, if all graduates had access to the type of programme Academic Power runs around 131 000 (67 per cent) could get a qualified job six months after graduation. This would mean big profits for the individual and society.