Employers shun foreign-born grads

Job market conditions for foreign-born university graduates in Sweden are worse than for those born in the country, a new report shows.

The primary reasons for the difference are discrimination and the lack of a professional network in Sweden, and not because the foreign born have weaker Swedish language skills or are less skilled at seeking employment.

The conclusions come report published on Thursday by the Swedish Confederation for Professional Employees (TCO), according to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Foreign-born university graduates have twice as high a risk as their Swedish-born counterparts to earn a monthly salary under 20,000 kronor ($2,275), even if they are the same age and live in the same place in Sweden.

The study was performed by integration researcher Lena Schröder who followed foreign-born graduates who came to Swede when they were seven-years-old and completed their academic studies in 2003.

Compared with graduates born in Sweden, those born outside the country more often had courses of study which normally result to employment in their field.

They are also more likely to live in areas where there are jobs and are more capable job seekers than Swedish-born university graduates.

Thus discrimination and the lack of a useful network are the main reasons why foreign-born university graduates have lower status in the Swedish job market, according to Schröder’s research.

Editor’s note: Are you a foreign-born grad having trouble breaking into the Swedish job market? Send an email to [email protected] and share your story.