Internships / Trainee programs
Should you consider an internship / a trainee program (en praktik)?
One way to enter the job market is to intern at a Swedish firm/institution to get a taste of the Swedish workplace and acquire local connections.
Although you might consider yourself too experienced, too old, or overqualified to become an intern (en praktikant), be aware that this is how many SDCN members with similar professional backgrounds started out in the Swedish job market. Of course, going from one unpaid internship to another is definitely not a long-term career plan, but an internship can be a strategic opportunity to develop requisite skills and connections that will veer you towards your dream job.
For the majority of internships, you need to be registered with Arbetsförmedlingen (which provides the necessary insurance for the employer). You may qualify for a small stipend (about 4 000 SEK / month) through Försäkringskassan.
How to get an internship.
- You will find job posts advertising internships and ‘trainee programs’ on the same channels where you look for employment. Some internships can lead to employment, others are three or four-month contracts with limited possibilities of employment afterwards. This is usually made clear in the job post but, if not, clarify with the potential employer.
- Jobbsprånget is a four-month internship program run by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering (IVA) and designed for newcomers with a university degree in certain fields. The idea is to connect you with a Swedish employer who is in need of a professional with a specific skillset.
If you want to apply for Jobbsprånget, you must fulfill three conditions:
- Have a degree (bachelor, master or higher) in Engineering, Architecture, Science or Business/Finance
- Be proficient in English (written and oral) – your level of English may be tested prior to internship
- Be registered with Arbetsförmedlingen
There are two applications period: 16 July – 16 August and 16 December – 16 January, so plan a little bit ahead.
For more information about internship positions and the application process, check the Jobbsprånget website.
- Arbetspraktik: Arbetsförmedlingen also offers general internships called Arbetspraktik where you have to find your own internship. You can find more information and different options on their website and can download the information in Swedish (SDCN-Fakta om arbetspraktik) or in English: SDCN-Labour market training programme, You need to talk to your case officer at Arbetsförmedlingen to be issued the paperwork.
- You can also consider volunteering at an organization of your choice, which apart from contributing to your résumé, will also connect you with more professionals from your field. These are usually non-paying jobs but could yield opportunities in the future, or could just be a lot of fun! There are various volunteering opportunities posted on Volontärbyrån.
- Yrkesdörren: It’s also very important to build your own professional network in Sweden, while looking for a job. This is because 75% of the jobs in Sweden are not advertised properly, and recruiters primarily rely on their personal connections while filling in these positions. Yrkesdörren pairs you up with a person who works in the industry you are interested in joining. So you meet up, get feedback on your résumé, learn the professional, social and cultural mores of the industry, and receive advice on how best to get a job. Lastly, this person gives you two more contacts from their professional network, who you can get in touch with and continue building your network. There are more details on their website.
Useful websites to look for internships (in Swedish):
This document was compiled by volunteer members of SDCN for informational purposes, to help expat partners kick-start their life in Stockholm. We welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted November 16, 2018