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2015-02-27

Graduation for Korta vägen – the project that has helped foreign academics find employment

On February 20, the contract education Korta vägen (”The short path”) finished in its current form. The purpose of the course has been to help foreign academics find work within their field. Since the start in 2008, almost half the participants have found qualified employment, and a third of the participants from the last round has already found jobs.

– I start working in the education and employment market department at Halmstad municipality on Monday. I’ll be working with diversity and administrative tasks, says Engella, one of the participants who was present for the graduation last Friday.

Of the 22 participants in the last set, seven already have employment or will start their new job shortly.

Engella has a degree in social sciences and came to Sweden from Afghanistan two years ago. Previously, she has worked for the United Nations in Kabul for six years. The goal after she was given her residence permit was to learn Swedish and enter working life.

– I don’t think I would have gotten the job at the municipality without Korta vägen. The course guides new arrivals to contacts with work places. Many have both experience and education and with a bit of support they can enter the labour market. But of course it also requires you to be active and determined.

National project

Korta vägen is a national project and currently exists in around 20 places. The project is commissioned by Arbetsförmedlingen (the national job centre). Halmstad University has given the course since 2008 and a total of 248 people has taken it through the years.

Many participated when the commissioned course Korta vägen concluded in its current form.

Camilla Bagler is a university lecturer and in charge of the commissioned course at the University. She says there are many success stories through the years.

– Our rough estimate shows that around 45 percent of the 248 participants have found qualified employment. Some are given jobs at the place of their work experience, for others it takes a little bit longer. Many continue with education or retrain in a different field. Korta vägen has meant a positive collaboration between Halmstad University, Arbetsförmedlingen in the Halland region and the municipalities and industry of Halland, she says.

Employment during the course

The course that just finished was the ninth one. Already, a third of the participants have found work.

– Of the 22 participants that started in the last round, seven have already found work or start their new job shortly. One person has started a business and another one is getting ready to do so. Some also have an ongoing dialogue about work opportunities, says Camilla Bagler.

Text: JOACHIM BRINK and JENNY BISIACH
Photo: JENNY BISIACH

Footnote. The reason why Korta vägen will no longer be held at Halmstad University is that Arbetsförmedlingen chose a different supplier in the latest award procedure. New award procedures occur every third year.

” I don’t think I would have gotten the job at the municipality without Korta vägen”, says Engella, who has a degree in social sciences and previously worked for the UN.

Three voices on Korta vägen:

Lena Wassoian
Bachelor Degree in English and literature as well as an MBA. Previously worked at a bank. Originally from Syria.

– Korta vägen is incredibly important for people who have a degree or higher education. I will continue my work experience at SEB, which I got through Korta vägen, for another three months. In the future, I plan to take the course Swedish as a second language to be able to study economy.

Abdul Albahnas
Degree in Economics, has previously worked for an international coorporation that runs shopping malls. Originally from Syria.

– Korta vägen is important since we also study general subjects like geography and project planning. It’s an education that’s needed for working in Sweden. All participants are given a work experience placement and some already have jobs. I will continue studying Swedish and English. My future goal is to start my own business.

Sameh Ali
Telecommunications engineer, MBA from Manchester. Has previously worked as a telecommunications engineer and project manager. Originally from Saudi Arabia.

– Korta vägen showed me what I have to do in the future. I have learned a lot of Swedish here. The work experience means a lot and I know I have to be fluent in Swedish to work as a telecommunications engineer here. I plan to study the course Swedish for immigrants and I want a technology education.

Updated 2015-05-06