Many with foreign qualifications enter the workforce after supplementary programmes

79 per cent of those with a foreign degree and who supplement their qualifications with additional studies in Sweden were established in the labour market three years after completing a supplementary programme.

This new study shows that, over time, they achieve almost the same degree of establishment in the labour market, 85 per cent, as those who completed the equivalent education in Sweden, says Staffan Nilsson, an analyst at Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ).

Approximately one year after their last semester, 66 per cent of those who supplemented their qualifications were established in the labour market, compared with 79 per cent three years later.

These results suggest that it takes a little longer for individuals in the group that attended a supplementary programme to establish themselves on the labour market than those who completed their entire education in Sweden. This could be because they do not have an equally well-developed network of contacts, says Staffan Nilsson.

93 per cent are active

If we look at the proportion employed one hour per week in November, thus a lower threshold for labour market participation, 93 per cent are active.

The study examines individuals who had to supplement their qualifications to be licensed to work as lawyers, doctors, teachers, nurses and dentists. It included individuals who participated in supplementary programmes between autumn 2007 and spring 2014. The supplementary programmes examined by the study are part of the government's special initiatives.

Supplementary programmes been available since the beginning of the 1990s. The aim is to help individuals with foreign qualifications to find work on the Swedish labour market in the professions they trained for in another country. Programmes may cover a maximum of 120 higher education credits. Additional supplementary programmes are in the works.