The Ministry of Labor visited KTH's IT education for new arrivals

"A successful project to learn from"

Published Dec 18, 2017

The second group of students at KTH's intensive course in IT development for new arrivals have just finished their studies and are on their way into the workforce. On Friday, the Minister of Labor Ylva Johansson, visited the students.

About thirty students have just completed KTH's three-month intensive course in IT development for newly arrived, Software Development Academy. The students come from countries such as Syria, India, Ukraine and Nigeria. Through the education they have taken a real step into the Swedish labor market.

Out of the 23 students who graduated from the course this spring, everyone is an active IT developer in Swedish workplaces. Two of the students from the current group already got jobs before ending the training. The rest are going to job interviews and are expecting answers after the Christmas holidays.

"It has been difficult to search for jobs in Sweden, but now we’ve got a platform and a network, so we can establish ourselves in the labor market and start our careers" says Kiruthiga Muthuswamy, who came to Sweden from India.

Labor Minister Ylva Johansson is visiting on the final day of training. She is here to meet the students and get a presentation of the successful project to see which lessons can be passed on and implemented more broadly.

"In Sweden, we have systems for most things. But when it comes to getting people who have not worked in Sweden before into the labor market, it’s the absence of systems that hits you. Instead, there are a lot of different projects and many of them are carried out by people who are very engaged and invested. My task is to systematize and make sure we do not need to reinvent the wheel every time" says Ylva Johansson.

One reason why the Software Development Academy is so successful is the collaboration with a private recruitment company specializing in recruitment of new arrivals – Novare Potential. They perform the careful selection process and are responsible for matching and contacts between the students and the Swedish business community.

Through the collaboration with Novare, together with private funding from Wallenberg Foundation, the Software Development Academy has found a way to navigate the initiative through the KTH regulations.

"The education is a mix of project management and government magic, very close to the limits of what we should do as an educational state agency" says project manager Mattias Wiggberg, chief of staff at the School of Computer Science and Communication at KTH.

He hopes that the Minister of Labor's visit will give her an understanding of that there are rules that are in the way of the task the government signals that institutions need to take on.

"It is important that she sees what obstacles the government can be a part of eliminating. The business community is asking for 70,000 IT developers and the need only increases, while we have many new arrivals with academic backgrounds who are having difficulty getting into the labor market.”

That is something Ylva Johansson brings from her visit.

"We need to look at how we can simplify KTH's regulations. It shouldn’t be a hassle to get these kinds of projects going” she says.

Kristin Djerf (translated by Jenny Dahlerus)

Facts: Software Development Academy

  • KTH's Software Development Academy is a three-month intensive course for newly arrived academics at the School of Computer Science and Communication.
  • The education is funded by the Wallenberg Foundation and is carried out in collaboration with the recruitment company Novare Potential. Most of the graduates are hired by Novare Potential within the first year.
  • Software Development Academy has been conducted on two occasions and will continue in 2018. So far, 55 people have completed the education.
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