In the labor market, there is currently a high demand for workers in sectors such as finance and economics. One way to help graduates with a foreign background is the labor market educational program known as Korta Vägen (Short cut). The goal is to map and utilize skills and make the participants employable.
Korta Vägen is individualized and the program lasts for 26 weeks. It includes study and internship as well as career guidance. Participants learn everything from writing CVs and a personal letter to networking and interviewing techniques.
“As a high-tech country, Sweden has a great need for well-educated university graduates. At the same time, it can be difficult to break into the Swedish labor market without having business contacts. Newly arrived non-Eurpoean university graduates may also suffer from language obstacles and lack of experience from the Swedish labor market,” says Alicia Muchowicz, Coordinator for Korta Vägen at Stockholm University.
“We know that a well-matched internship is the best option for quickly creating a network, to learn a vocational language and get a job position they are qualified for in the future,” says Alicia Muchowicz.
In October 2014, Samy Elshawa came to Sweden from Gaza in Palestine. There he worked with card services at the Bank of Palestine, and after that he was Sales Manager for the largest plumbing manufacturer in Gaza.
Having completed the Korta Vägen program, where he attended courses in the book keeping program Visma, he has also served an internship at PwC Sweden. There he worked with accounting and customer and supplier accounts using the Fortnox system.
“I am very interested in that type of work, and as an economist I also think that I can use my experience in customer service and sales,” says Samy Elshawa.
He thinks that the Korta Vägen program at Stockholm University has given him the best chance of understanding how the Swedish labor market works. And during the internship he has also been able to obtain some good references.
MultiMind collaborates with Korta Vägen, and twice a year helps participants to learn more about the staffing industry, and arranges speed-date interviews for those seeking employment.
“The collaboration with Korta Vägen gives us a broad competence pool with candidates that possess different experience and language skills with the hope of offering them their first job in Sweden,” says Yichu Chung at MultiMind.
Services such as IT and logistics do not necessarily require professional experience from Sweden. However, in some industries, specific Swedish rules apply, which makes a completed internship a great advantage, especially for those seeking employment in, for example, economics and accounting.
“I am passionate about getting started as an economist so that I can contribute my commitment, and continue to develop. The valuable experience I have gained through Korta Vägen will hopefully help me successfully find a job,” says Samy Elshawa.
Short facts about Korta vägen
The program is provided by the Arbetsförmedlingen (Swedish Public Employment Service). It is free of charge and aimed at newly arrived graduates who have studied at a foreign university or college outside the EU for at least three years. Participants must be enrolled with Arbetsförmedlingen, should be able to speak basic Swedish or near-native English as well as have basic computer skills.
Over the last three years, 385 people have completed the program, of whom 64 per cent are women. Nine out of ten participants have received a qualified internship. A total of 54 per cent have received qualified work, while 10 per cent have chosen to continue their studies.
Read more about Korta vägen at Stockholm University