SWEDEN At least 100 internships over a three-year period will give newly arrived migrants with permanent residence permits the opportunity to open the door into the Swedish labour market.

Most of the hundred internships will be available in Vattenfall's head office in Solna, but also in other locations in Sweden where Vattenfall operates.

The project is part of the government's 100-klubben initiative, which was launched last autumn with the aim of getting larger companies to offer newly arrived immigrants internships to improve their chances of finding a job. The internships last a maximum of six months and involve no cost to Vattenfall.

Jesper Ingre from Governance & Metrics within HR is one of the Vattenfall managers who has taken this opportunity to take on an intern with an academic background for six months.

"The internship is run as a project and as no previous knowledge of Swedish is required for this position, I realised that this could be the perfect opportunity to offer an internship to someone who has not been in Sweden that long," says Ingre.

With the help of HR's recruitment staff, an internship specification was drawn up for the Employment Agency, which in turn proposed suitable applicants for the internships.

 "I will interview a woman later in the week with a good academic background and who has been in Sweden for three years. My hope is that she can start here in a couple of weeks. We are aware that we will have to provide supervisory input, but I do think this a really good initiative," says Jesper Ingre.

The internship does not guarantee employment, but the interns are given the opportunity to strengthen their CVs and improve their opportunities on the labour market.

 "I also believe that this strengthens us as a company and how we are perceived by the world around us," says Jesper Ingre.

Many of the refugees that have arrived in Sweden are very well educated in the fields of healthcare, technology, economics, etc. which should be of benefit to the country, but they have no references. A six-month internship in this context could be of great help in opening the door to the labour market as shown by statistics from the Employment Agency.

Frida Karlsson, who is Vattenfall's coordinator for the internship project and liaises with the Employment Agency says there has been great interest shown up to now by the organisation and that additional internships are already in the pipeline.

 "I've already had a lot of enquiries and I think that more and more people will find this of interest. My focus now is to ensure that the process of finding internships and interns runs as smoothly as possible. Our goal is to reach well over one hundred internships during this three-year period," says Frida Karlsson.

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