Better wages and post-military career opportunities key to recruiting
It has been two years since the conscript system in Sweden was abandoned in favor of a voluntary military service. The two organizations Society and Defence and Swedish Soldier held a seminar Friday to discuss the status of the transformation in the Swedish Armed Forces and some of the challenges.
Member of Parliament Anna-Lena Sörenson with the opposition Social Democrats says that while recruitment is proceeding according to schedule, the new system faces a few big challenges.
This includes making the US$6.5 billion defense budget cover the new organization and providing wages that will attract new recruits. The current starting salary for a soldier is about US$2,500 a month.
Sörenson says it is also important to ensure that there are career opportunities for soldiers when they leave the military.
"Another challenge is getting the private sector involved, so that they want to hire the soldiers when they have finished their military service and are ready to enter the civilian workforce," she says.
"It’s important to validate what the soldiers have done in the armed forces and that they have a professional development plan so they can use their knowledge and skills in the civil sector," Sörenson says.