Ski resorts struggle to recruit for winter season
Sweden's ski resorts are finding it harder than ever to recruit workers to cater for the growing number of people who go on skiing holidays.
A Swedish Employment Agency representative tells Radio Sweden that companies operating out of resorts in the Swedish mountains can no longer rely on young Swedes to take on seasonal work that can last up to four months.
"In the past two years, there has been a change in the Swedish jobs market. All kinds of businesses are doing well right now so they need a lot of people and the ski resorts are finding it difficult with younger people who have have already found work," says Catharina Utanskog, a branch strategist at the Swedish Employment Agency.
The Agency is staging a number of recruitment fairs this week in places such as Mora and Åre in northern Sweden, offering almost 1,000 job vacancies.
At a fair held in Stockholm on Monday, Utanskog told Radio Sweden that the Agency is trying to reach out to unemployed newly arrived immigrants.
"They are a target. They need to learn the language and can maybe move to these resorts for a few months. If you areborn and raised here, you know that the ski resorts exist and what the lifestyle is like there. All these new people have to learn about that and when they come here, some of them are very surprised that they have to move from Stockholm to find work," says Utanskog.
Around lunchtime at the recruitment fair in Stockholm, some 19 businesses and companies from different ski resorts tried to attract personnel ranging from chefs, dishwashers and cleaners to lift operators, child minders, shop assistants and hotel receptionists.
Pia Batthis runs the 720 bar and restaurant with her husband. It is located 720 metres up Åre's highest mountain.
"We are looking for 17 people for the kitchen, the floor, bar. It's difficult to find staff and it's getting harder each year because people want to work where they live and we are only open for five months," Batthis tells Radio Sweden.
Samuel Onwkwe has been in Sweden for almost two years since arriving from his native Nigeria. He has spent his time here learning Swedish but also recovering from a life-saving kidney transplant. Now, he wants to find work for the winter and is happy to clean or be a dishwasher. However, he was was disappointed when told that accommodation was not included in at the ski resorts.
I asked if they provide accommodation and they said that they do but that it is not free. So I have a problem because I have a flat here in Stockholm and I do not want to lose it for a job lasting four months and I don't want to pay for two rents."
Mohammed Rashad from Syria also finds working at a winter ski resort attractive.
"It will be fantastic if I get a winter job. They have big parties in the north of Sweden! I want to work as a receptionist or waiter," says Rashad.