“The biggest obstacle in Sweden to the continuing growth of the digital sector is the “lack of cutting-edge expertise in IT, telecom, and other forms of digitalization”, according to the paper.
The report on Sweden's IT skills shortage was put together by employer organization the Swedish IT & Telecom Industries and warns: “A deficit in the order of 70,000 people is feared by 2022 if no special measures are taken”.
Programming and systems architecture are the two areas with a particularly striking shortage. The organization called for efforts to remedy the potential problems, including efforts for schools and young people with regards to their occupational choices, such as the reform of teacher education and a closer collaboration between schools and the world of work.
But the solutions cannot only come from within Sweden, and migration and integration in the Swedish industry are also essential.
Specifically, the Swedish IT & Telecom Industries proposes there should be a national strategy for attraction of talent, aimed at recruiting at least 10,000 more top international students (and, by extension, potential employees) in the field.
“Through the poor management of labour immigration in recent years, Sweden has lost much of its attractiveness and thereby many valuable talents,” according to the organization.
The digital sector accounts for 6.3 percent of the total workforce in Sweden – a total of 308,100 people in 2016.