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Sweden 'at risk' of losing global battle for talent

17 Jul 2012, 15:32

Published: 17 Jul 2012 15:32 GMT+02:00

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The findings come from a study carried out by the TNS/Sifo polling firm in coordination with Linköping University which also revealed that 15 percent of respondents already had experience working outside of Sweden.

"It's very important that Sweden position itself as an attractive country to work and study in," Rodrigo Garay, founder of Working for Change, said in a statement.

"But we also have to be better at taking advantage of the competence that already exists in Sweden."

Garay's Working for Change, which is organizing a large recruitment fair scheduled to take place in Stockholm in December 2012, wants to highlight ways that Swedish companies and organizations can manage the demographic challenges and opportunities that come with increased migration and cultural diversity in Sweden.

The study, which is based on responses from 3,200 recent graduates from Linköping University, has prompted calls for action to ensure that Sweden doesn't lose talented young workers to attractive employment opportunities in other countries.

"Swedish universities need to be better at making contacts with the business community and helping students – both Swedish and international – get jobs," said Linköping University partnership director Göran Felldin in a statement.

Speaking with Sveriges Radio (SR), Linköping University spokesperson Lars Holberg added that Sweden needed to do more to attract and retain foreign students in particular.

"There's a risk that instead of attracting the international talent we need to Sweden, we're going to lose it," he said.

Despite worries that Sweden may lose the battle for talent, economics professor Jan Ekberg from Linnaeus University pointed out there are benefits to having Swedish graduates gain experience abroad.

Story continues below…

"Many have gained foreign experience that can be good for the Swedish economy," he told SR.

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Your comments about this article

16:10 July 17, 2012 by mikewhite
"...three fourths..." or three quarters, as we say here.
17:00 July 17, 2012 by bjorkon
Two words : Tax Policy. One of the observations I had upon moving here was the relative wealth number of people who had never lived abroad. They had accumulated very little. Especially those who had left it late to buy a house. People who had left, lived in another country like US, UK, had made their fortune and then returned.

What it crazy is how they have a special tax rate for expertise, because all Sweden's home grown talent is scared off abroad by the high taxes. Crazy.
17:41 July 17, 2012 by Silberfüchschen
I can only see it as positive that the young Swedes of today are open to move abroad and explore the world. Would Lars Holberg prefer that the graduates were so bound to home that they could not imagine living in another country for a few years?
17:56 July 17, 2012 by colombianska_tjej
Well, maybe if they didn't kick out the foreign students as they finish their studies...

And also, being more open to hire someone with foreign background, IMHO
21:26 July 17, 2012 by bells on the knight

I moved "away" from Sweden after my degree and have established two companies now employing over 900 people.

A heck of a lot in lost taxes etc for those idiots running the show in Stockholm.
03:56 July 18, 2012 by rolfkrohna
The reason the the exodus, mass emigration, is easy to understand, predatory taxes, dictatorship and power of officials, an Orwellian control system which by far super seeds both the "1984", then fiction story, and the STASI, Soviet state, Stalin, and Hitler, states. Add extensive corruption in the official sector, legalised by the fraternity of officials and politicians. I also moved away after my degrees, did well, and now live comfortably and secure, I control my own life and my own finances. No STATE controls me.
08:46 July 18, 2012 by Mxzf
If they want good people here, they should make sure that the import and export levels are about the same. So make it easier for people from abroad to come here and work... and it'll even out.
11:04 July 18, 2012 by EP
Why work in Sweden, the winters are long, it's expensive and people are cold, hence it's difficult to get any semblance of a social life and the taxes are high. I can see many other countries that are much more attractive for professionals than Sweden.
13:36 July 18, 2012 by Migga
Sweden is one of the most innovative countries in the world with a great field in high tech, medicin and IT. It has a stable economy and it`s also one of the best countries for a family with working parents.

I don`t see this issue as a big problems as the media is trying to make it out to be. There is no harm if swedish students work in another country for a few years.
14:58 July 18, 2012 by libertarianism
Migga - the Swedish state could line up half the population and put bullets through their heads, and you'd be still be singing state praises. It's sickening.
15:02 July 18, 2012 by Rishonim
@Migga, indeed Sweden is a very innovative country in many areas but when it comes to competitive salary it lags way behind. Swedish employer need to reward and incentivize its talents to stay and also to attract foreign educated people to come and work here as well. That is essentially what they need to do; otherwise people will go for the more attractive alternatives in other countries
15:31 July 18, 2012 by cupidcub
Well.. Sweden does not need skilled, educated graduates. They only need refugees.

However,Sweden is being very generous to the neighboring countries. Sweden is producing high quality graduated spending millions of crowns and Denamrk, Finland, Norway and many other EU countries are getting them for FREE.. Not bad at all.. :D

@ Migga: Because you don't see the big picture.
17:59 July 18, 2012 by coldjava
Even Swedes are going to Norway to work these days
18:07 July 18, 2012 by Migga
@ libertarianism

Sweden could bring peace to the world and you would still be bashing it for something. It makes my stomach turn.
22:08 July 18, 2012 by libertarianism
Migga - I "bash" state policies which hurt people. If you actually loved people in Sweden, you wouldn't defend the state's abuse of people. That's the difference between you and me. I love humans, and you love the state.
08:11 July 19, 2012 by Migga
@ libertarianism

I`ve never mentioned state or government once, that`s you. What I define as Sweden is everything and anything that I choose except for the state, government and the politicans.
10:23 July 19, 2012 by cogito
Migga, you are an excellent illustration of successful brainwashing.

I'm guessing you are a product o the Swedish school system.
22:01 July 19, 2012 by Migga
@ cogito

Thanks, you are a superb example of whatever product you are supposed to be.
17:01 July 20, 2012 by michael22
Australia is attracting a wide range of international talent by providing 3 years post study work VISA.During this period students take up some part time work and simultaneously search for a full time employment. May be Sweden would need to do something like that to attract highly skilled students.
20:34 July 20, 2012 by bjorkon
#19 even if sweden did "do something like that" you would still have the highest taxes in the world and the second highest prices in europe . My recommendation - - get your degree then leave for a low tax cheap food/drink/entertainment/restaurants and general affordable fun country for a few years. Save the money you would otherwise have handed to the State. Then come home in your late 30's or 40's when you have kids. Sweden is gret for kids. Generous handouts even if you are rich. And tax relief on mortgages. Almost free childcare. Stay a few years until the benefits dry up then get the hell back out to wherever your kids have emigrated to .. :-)
11:50 July 21, 2012 by tanimjubaer
Now a days Swedish innovation is moving into business domain instead of technology domain. Specially weakness in mathematics is a big concern for future Swedish generation. My experience in most of the companies here is that Swedish experts tend to be mid-aged or old, no young Swedes coming. While studying in University, technological subjects have almost zero Swedish enrollment, 99% Swedes going for business studies. These imbalance will quickly reflect on Swedish economy surely in coming decades. Even for lack of proper human resource many Swedish tech giants are forced to move into joint venture projects (which is now a booming).

About the Swedish youth, the state is making them lazy, to be harsh. Due to Sweden's ridiculous immigration policy which helps useless or bad people to come here and skilled people to leave, environment worsen. Bad immigrants already polluted Swedish youth and Drug problem ,secret sex cartel are really vicious here. The government always trying to hide (hiding is Swden's national trait), but how long?

Still I'm hopeful, Swedes are real clever nation as we know. But with recent Chinese investment aggression in Swedish industry, I fear a bad time nearby. So don't sleep and dream people, help your state to find solutions.
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