Internship that help new arrivals find work

Published Nov 16, 2018

Monica Bellgran, Professor at KTH Södertälje, needed someone who could perform an industrial study. Bassel Nadim wanted to enter the Swedish workinglife. The Internship project “Jobbsprånget” brought them together.

Nadim is on his third day in his Internship at the Departement of Sustainable Production Development at KTH Södertälje. He has already produced a detailed work plan for the four months he is going to project manage an industrial study.

Supervisor Monica Bellgran, Professor of Industrial Production Management, is impressed by how quickly he has come up to speed.

“You can tell that Bassel has a consulting background and knows how to work with industry and this type of study,” Bellgran says.

On his second day, they visited a smaller production company in Järna, and were also scheduled to visit companies such as Astra Zeneca and Scania. The study will look at Södertälje in the first instance and then be expanded to cover Stockholm and the Mälardalen area. Bellgran is convinced that Nadim will make many valuable contacts, while at the same time, KTH Södertälje will learn more about what they should focus on in contacts with manufacturing companies in the region.

Informal communication

Nadim is an economist and strategist, with the focus on innovation, sustainability and financial integration. He has a Masters from Glasgow University and extensive experience as a consultant with companies such as Deloitte and Tanmia Capital in Dubai. He left his homeland of Syria six months ago and came to Sweden with his family.

 “As a newcomer in a country, I need to learn how you communicate and make decisions, how you engage with people and launch ideas. This Internship is a way of renewing my brand, so it will fit in with the Swedish enterprise culture.”

He has already picked up on a number of things.

“I have noticed that communication is informal. People exchange ideas and thoughts in a relaxed way. KTH as an organisation also seems to be very dynamic.”

Unexpected bonus

Nadim found his way to “Jobbsprånget” and KTH via Facebook in the summer. Bellgran felt it was a very quick process.

“A query came by email from KTH about ‘Jobbsprånget’ and I thought about this project that I wanted to get done. I wrote the application in July and Bassel arrived in early November.”

As an added bonus, the Department found another two individuals that can help in another direction, computer scientists Sajid Zaheer and Jabbar Hussain, both from Pakistan. Their brief is to create a physical laboratory that is to be connected to a digital lab.

“They possess IT know-how we did not really have. For them, the Internships mean they will meet people and make contacts,” their supervisor, Magnus Wiktorsson, Professor of Production Logistics at KTH, says.

The two computer scientists have been in Sweden for ten years. Zaheer has studied and worked part-time delivering newspapers.

“This will give me relevant experience within my field that I hope will open up new opportunities in the future.”

Mutual benefits

Hussain has a Masters in AI, Artificial Intelligence and a degree in Information Systems. He has worked in the hotel and restaurant sector and at a software company.

“Being able to work with the very latest hardware can hopefully lead to a job in AI,” Hussein says.

Recruiting qualified graduates on Internships provides mutual benefits according to Bellgran.

“We get to meet new and highly skilled individuals who can make a contribution to our operations that are at the development stage. It is also an element of our social responsibility to utilise the know-how people who come to Sweden possess.”

As a member of IVA (the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences) she was already familiar with Jobbsprånget.

“They have genuinely managed to create a fast track for graduates. This is a successful model that we must continue to use.”

Text: Ann Patmalnieks

  • On average, it takes from five to ten years for graduates who come to Sweden to gain the right job. Yet, many employers complain about how difficult it is to find suitable skills.
  • Jobbsprånget is a national Internship programme for newly arrived graduates in the first instance, under the direction of IVA. The Internships are intended to smooth entry into the job market. During the course of their four-month Internship, individuals gain the opportunity to make contacts, to showcase their expertise and the chance to fill skills gaps at the employer.

This autumn, KTH has offered five Internships, and additional Internship opportunities will be advertised on the Jobbsprånget portal in spring 2019. Internships receive financial support from the Swedish Public Employment Service.

“It is a good way to reach out to the target group,” says Lars-Erik Skagersten, HR Administrator at KTH.
“IVA has tailored the organisation around this. They also take much of the responsibility for the entire process, from providing information on the advantages of providing internships and through to the conclusion of the internship period.

For more information on internships at KTH, contact Lars-Erik Skagersten leskag@admin.kth.se

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