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Sofyan Aswad: Sofyan Aswad: "Sweden does not make use of foreign competences"

Graduates from abroad confront greater difficulties on the labour market than graduates born in the country. Employers have often difficulty in evaluating foreign degrees and work experience.
Sofyan AswadSkicka e-post
Kristianstad • Publicerad 8 oktober 2021
Detta är en personligt skriven text i Mosaik Kristianstadsbladet. Åsikter som uttrycks är skribentens egna.
Sofyan Aswad, journalist Kb MosaikFoto: Sofyan Aswad

Sweden does not make use of foreign competence. Graduates from abroad can experience many problems.To begin with, the language and the need to adapt their education to Swedish circumstances in order to find a qualified job.

”More foreign-born graduates are out of work or do not have a permanent job than graduates born in Swede”
Sofyan Aswad

Then they have problems with having to study more, until they meet Swedish requirements. This has been a big problem for me as a graduate. I quite simply do not want to go back to school again, starting to study all over again is hard for me.


Sometimes the demand is for me to start all over again from the beginning.

More foreign-born graduates are out of work or do not have a permanent job than graduates born in Sweden.There are many factors which make it more difficult for people not born in Sweden to get established on the labour market.

So a lot of graduates look for another way to make a living. Once I was in a taxi here in Sweden which was driven by a man from the Sudan who was a qualified dermatologist. He was unable to find work in his own profession, although he speaks Swedish.

– You're a doctor, why are you working as a taxi-driver?

– I studied for 14 years in the Sudan and Saudiarabia, and passed my exams with excellent results. After the problems in the Sudan I moved to Sweden and was not allowed to practise my profession here, partly because of language difficulties and partly because of my abílity to go back to studying.

Many taxi-drivers are highly-qualified graduates from abroad.Foto: Mattias Mattisson

Sweden needs highly-qualified graduates, are you going to keep on working as a taxi-driver?

I'm not terribly keen on this work. At the same time I wonder why hospitals don't employ us on the basis of our qualifications from our home countries. I can guarantee, if I have to stay on here, I'll forget everything I've learnt.

”To find a job in Sweden, you must have contacts”
Sofyan Aswad

People born abroad often lack a network on the labour market, which can cause problems, since a large number of job opportunities are negotiated via personal contacts.

In this issue my colleague Inga-Lill Bengtsson writes about Rami Iskif. He has a master's degree in biomedicine. He has been out of work for eighteen months and is now working as an assistant archivist because he is unable to find work in his own branch.

To find a job in Sweden, you must have contacts, a friend who can tip his employer off about you, your education and your experience. '


That is how you can get help to find your dream job. So it is imperative for you to build up a strong network of relationships, for example through associations, language cafés, handball- and football-matches, and encourage common interests.

Then some of the barriers that we foreigners encounter can be pulled down.