Today it takes five to ten years for a graduate arriving in Sweden to get a job here (according to a report by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise called “Utbildningsfällan”, The Education Trap). But the internship programme, Jobbsprånget, run by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), has quickly emerged as a much faster method to get this group of people out into the job market.
“We’re talking about five months instead. A preparation process is followed by a four-month internship and then in many cases employment,” says Alexandra Ridderstad Wachtmeister, Head of Jobbsprånget
One key element in the programme’s good results is that it simplifies the process for employers to take on newcomer graduates. Jobbsprånget also matches the needs of employers with the skills and experience of engineers, architects, scientists and economists who have recently arrived in Sweden. More than 150 employers in 45 locations are already taking part. Through the internships, new contacts are forged to validate skills and enable employers to fill their talent gaps with individuals who are currently outside the job market. The internship language is English.
“This is a chance for people to show what they can do. During the internship I had the opportunity to learn the culture, language and how things work in a Swedish workplace,” says Ahmed Kaddoura, a former Jobbsprånget intern who was given a permanent job by the employer where he interned, accounting and advisory firm EY.
Up to now around 200 newcomers with a degree have gone through the programme and 89 of them have started their internship in previous rounds of the programme. The internships are adapted based on the newcomers’ experience and academic qualifications.
“Internships work! Our internal study reveals the positive outcome of an internship, with seven out of ten going on to be employed following their internship,” says Alexandra Ridderstad.
The model has been recognised by both the Government and the private sector. In the autumn budget, Jobbsprånget was allocated SEK 55 million by the Government and has received significant funding from the Wallenberg Foundation as well.
“Sweden often puts everyone arriving in Sweden into one category. But we are finding that newcomers with a university degree are close to the job market. So we don’t need to complicate things – this group needs to find its way quickly to the employers. That’s the philosophy of Jobbsprånget,” says Alexandra Ridderstad.
Read more about Jobbsprånget at www.jobbspranget.se
Photographs: Camilla Svensk