New job scheme for English-speaking professionals

9:09 min

It's called, The Job Leap, (Jobbsprånget), an internship programme which aims to speed up the introduction to the labour market for newcomers to Sweden with an academic degree in engineering, science, business or finance.

The four month long internship programme, which is said to create a bridge to the Swedish labour market, is run by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). It began as a pilot programme last year with 35 interns, mainly from Syria, but also Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

All candidates must have an academic degree within sciences, business, architecture or engineering and they must be able to speak English.

Alexandra Ridderstad is head of Jobssprånget at IVA. She told Radio Sweden that 80 companies have shown an interest in the programme and she hopes to have thousands of internships in the future. She said:

The aim is to speed up the introduction to the Swedish labour market by connecting newcomer academics with Swedish employers. The internship is a good way to also learn Swedish and also get contacts."

Taking fika around the coffee machine, a vital introduction to Swedish working practices, are three engineering sciences graduates who fled the war in Syria for a new life in Sweden.

Unable to speak Swedish, they were advised to move to the big cities, where their knowledge of English would be of use in the job market. Today, they're doing their internships at SIS, the Swedish Standards Institute in Stockholm,

We are very happy with them, colleagues, managers, HR, we are all pleased. SIS is a very international organisation and we work very broadly in the Swedish society. So we really have a strong need for broad experience and competence and they suit us very well. I don't think we would have found them in the labour market," SIS's HR manager Elisabeth Darius told Radio Sweden. 

Architect Samir Tarcheh, electrical engineer Yamen Kadoura and civil engineer Ghenwa Naffouje all moved to Stockholm without family or friends. Being able to speak English gave them the opportunity to apply to Jobbsprånget.

They tell Radio Sweden about the difficulties in adapting to a new country and the difficulties of finding work. And how receiving an internship at SIS has given them hope for a brighter future.