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PRESENTED BY JOBBSPRÅNGET

Your best route to cracking the Swedish job market in 2022

Telish Telish, an Indian engineer, came to Sweden in 2018, but, like many newcomers, found the job market a tough nut to crack. “I was so fed-up. It was July 2020, and I had applied for more than 850 jobs in two years with no luck,” she says. “I told my husband that if I didn’t get some work by November, then I would go back to India.” 

Your best route to cracking the Swedish job market in 2022
Indian engineer Telish, who works at IKEA

Numan Oksas, a software engineer from Turkey who moved to Sweden to join his mother and father, felt similarly marooned. “When I came to Sweden in early 2020, I was a fish out of water,” he says. “My educational background seemed to make no difference. I was a janitor, a waiter, a lot of those kinds of jobs. It was dark, cold and I was depressed. I just stayed at home, ate, watched TV, did nothing. I couldn’t network because of the pandemic. I just thought, ‘why did I come here?’”

Sweden has often been described as one of the toughest job markets for newcomers to negotiate. It’s not unusual for international arrivals to take years to nail down a job. Telish and Numan’s experiences are sadly not rare. But now Telish is a product requirement engineer at IKEA, and Numan is a quality assurance software engineer at Telia. 

Solving the Swedish jobs riddle

So what changed? How did they figure out that ultimate Swedish riddle – the newcomers’ job market?

Their secret is that they enrolled with Jobbsprånget, a nationwide government-sponsored programme that offers internships to university-educated newcomers in Sweden. The internships are for four months, with 60 percent of those who successfully complete an internship ending up in employment (the figure was actually 70 percent before the pandemic). 

Need a job in Sweden? Find out how to apply for Jobbsprånget’s next round of internships – now open until January 16

Numan, who lives in Gothenburg, found Jobbsprånget when he was trawling the internet looking for tips on how to network. “I was researching how to network in Sweden. ‘How do I find the right people, how do I find jobs? Should I study more, should I try the labour market again?’ I was pretty dispirited. But then Jobbsprånget popped up. A lot of networking platforms offer connections to people in the labour market for advice or mentorship, but only Jobbsprånget offered something concrete – chances to apply for internships.”

But, as Numan confirms, it doesn’t just offer any old internships.

Through Jobbsprånget I applied for 20 internships and got one with Telia,” he says. “They didn’t treat me as your typical intern. They gave me assignments to work on and I really felt as though I was a valuable member of the team. It was real work. Not just making coffee and fetching lunch. These are proper internships. Even if you have ten years of experience, you’re going to be given real work that pushes you.”

Kick-start your Swedish career with Jobbsprånget – find out how you can apply between December 16th and January 16th

Numan Oksas works at Telia following his internship

Jobbsprånget is targeted at English-speaking, non-European graduates looking for work in Sweden and offers a fast-track route to accessing career paths that had seemed blocked. The programme is in English so if you haven’t mastered Swedish yet, don’t worry. But it is essential that you have a degree in engineering, architecture, science or business, and that you’re registered at Sweden’s Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen). 

It’s targeted at people born outside Europe and the EU in order to follow Arbetsförmedlingen’s rules for internships. If you have any queries about your eligibility to participate, you can find out more about the requirements here

‘I’m not a person who will just sit at home’

Telish’s self-esteem was particularly bruised by the lack of action on the job front after first arriving in Sweden with high hopes.

“I was a production planning engineer for Yokohama Tyres in India,” she says. “It was a good job and I was good at it. But then I moved to Älmhult in southern Sweden with my husband who had a job with IKEA. All my friends thought it would be easy for me to get a job with my experience. But it was not. It was frustrating and depressing because I’m not a person who will just sit at home and do house chores. I need mental stimulation.”

She was worried at first that Jobbsprånget would only offer IT internships. “But it didn’t,” she says. “That was so refreshing. There were plenty of opportunities for non-IT applicants. It’s also great that it’s all in English. I’ve tried to learn Swedish but it’s quite a difficult language. I am 50 to 70 percent there, but it’s great that the Jobbsprånget platform is in English.”

Telish applied for several internships including Volvo and Tetra Pak and was taken on by IKEA. “I had some good experience in planning, and I used this skill regularly during the internship,” she says. “I also had some ideas to reuse and to recycle stuff that they really liked because the whole company is now geared to sustainability. It was a good match.”

Numan believes Jobbsprånget has changed his life in Sweden for the better. “Jobbsprånget really helped me a lot,” he says. “It gave me the tools I needed to find work, and the work itself improved my skills. Jobbsprånget showed me the road ahead.”

Ready to find a Swedish job in 2022? Jobbsprånget has just two application periods per year and the current one closes on January 16th – find out more now

Member comments

  1. Well after trying to register it seems its only for Non-Eu Uni graduates. So nope not useful. As with most funding and support doesnt apply to us forgotten experienced adult Eu Uni graduates with over a decade of experience.

    Not to mention our qualifications dont stand for much unless we are professors, healthcare staff, IT or engineers who speak English then language is secondary.

    Our Swedish even if its SFI level C3 never really allows us to be hired as professionals since our level is not fluent enough, and thats assuming everyone is capable of learning a foreign 3rd or 4th new language at over 30 years old. So nope. Nope SFI C3 gets you a manual job definitely not in your feel and demoralising.

    The EU Uni bunch get forgotten unless they manage to randomly find a lucrative job in a expensive city for English speaker or become self employed and pay 50 percent in tax and social insurance and that lucrative job is only feasible if they can afford the high rent in a big city but most of us are mature adults with families..anyway so yes not useful at all.

    But heck I can always go to the job center and learn to write a CV all over again like Im in high school. Useful!

    Oh wait but in other EU countries we welcome and embrace foreign staff of many languages and calibers to help prosperity and diversity and inclusion especially in English speaking ex colonies or tourist regions or business capitals.

    Such a shame to waste talent.

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For members

WORKING IN SWEDEN

EXPLAINED: What do we know so far about Sweden’s new ‘talent visa’?

In the new work permit law which comes into force on June 1st, Sweden is launching a new nine-month 'talent visa', which will allow “some highly qualified individuals” to get temporary residency while they look for jobs or plan to launch a business. What do we know so far?

EXPLAINED: What do we know so far about Sweden's new 'talent visa'?

When was the law passed and when does it come into force? 

The parliament passed the new law on April 21st, and the final text of the change in the law was published on May 5th. It will come into force on June 1st. 

What does the new law say about the ‘talent visa’? 

It says that “in certain cases”, a temporary residency permit can be granted to a foreigner who wants to “spend time in the country to look for work or to look into the possibility of starting a business”. 

To qualify the applicant must: 

  • have completed studies equivalent to an advanced level degree 
  • have sufficient means to support themselves during their stay and to cover the cost of their return trip 
  • have fully comprehensive health insurance which is valid in Sweden 

How long can people initially stay in Sweden under the talent visa? 

The residency permit will be valid for a maximum of nine months.

Which agency will assess applications for the talent visa? 

The government has decided that applications should be assessed by the Migration Agency. The Migration Agency will publish more details on the requirements, such as what qualifies as an advanced degree, what documents need to be submitted, and how much capital applicants will need to show they can support themselves, in the coming weeks. 

The Migration Agency is also likely to develop a form for those wishing to apply for the talent visa. 

What level of education is necessary? 

What is meant by an “advanced degree” has not been set ou in the law, but according to Karl Rahm, who has helped draw up the law within the Ministry of Justice, a master’s degree (MA or MSc), should be sufficient. 

How much capital will applicants need to show that they have? 

According to Rahm, the amount of money applicants will need to show that they have is likely to be set at the same level as the minimum salary for those applying for a work permit, which is currently 13,000 kronor a month. If he is right, this means that someone applying for a nine-month visa would have to show that they have 117,000 kronor (€11,259) in saved capital, plus extra for their trip back to their home country.

READ ALSO: How will the new work permit law just passed in Sweden affect foreigners?

Can applicants bring children and spouses? 

“You will not be able to bring your family with this kind of visa, since the idea is that it’s for a relatively limited amount of time,  just to see if there is employment for you, or if there is a chance of starting a business,” says Elin Jansson, deputy director at the Ministry of Justice, who helped work on the new visa. “And if you do decide to stay in Sweden, then you apply for a regular work permit for starting up a business, and then you can bring your family.” 

Where will detailed information on the requirements for a talent visa be published? 

The Migration Agency will publish detailed requirements on the talent visa on its Working in Sweden page when the law starts to apply on June 1st. 

What is the reason for the talent visa? 

Those searching for a job or researching starting a new business in Sweden can already stay for up to 90 days with a normal Schengen visa. The idea behind the talent visa is to give highly educated foreigners a little longer to decide if they want to find a job or set up a business in the country before they need to go the whole way and launch a company. 

How many people are expected to apply? 

In the government inquiry on the new work permit law, experts estimated that about 500 people would apply for the new talent visa each year, but it could end up being either much more, or less. 

“It’s really hard to tell. There could be a really big demand. I don’t think it’s anyone can really say before this comes into effect,” Jansson said. 

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