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One in ten educated people with a foreign background does not get a job

Unemployment is 9.3 percent among those with a university degree and who were born abroad. Among those born in Sweden, unemployment is 2.7 percent.

There is some research on people who have immigrated to Sweden and a job waiting for them here, often at international companies. But now researchers have begun to take an interest in the group of immigrants with an education and who came to Sweden without a job to go to. Not least as this group is growing worldwide, partly due to the war in Syria.

Selects the safer option

Researchers from Mälardalen University and Umeå University have looked at both what is required of the individual to get a job, but also what Swedish companies must change.

– Companies that themselves have employees with a foreign background or who have had experience of working with people from other countries usually employ more people with a foreign background. The others believe that it is safer to employ someone who was born in Sweden and therefore choose the safer alternative, says Ali Farashah, researcher at Mälardalen University.

Mentor to get people to work faster

The statistics show that it takes about eight years for a person who has moved to Sweden to get a job that corresponds to the person’s education. According to the researchers, it is far too long a time that could be shortened to two or three years. This if companies were to change their attitude to a workplace with diversity and work actively with it.

– For example, new arrivals with education can be offered a mentor to more quickly adapt to and understand the unwritten rules and other cultural codes that exist in Sweden, says Ali Farashah.

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Offering internships for new arrivals is another way of helping people with a foreign background to enter the labor market.

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