Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Immigrants Keep Sweden Clean

The fact that immigrants (irrespective of academic qualification) are reduced to cleaning Swedish cities is probably no news to you, especially after reading articles like - A Mockery of Education in Scandinavia and Odd Jobs for the Highly Educated in Europe. However, you might be interested to learn that official figures from Statistics Sweden (SCB) have confirmed my worries - Sweden has no regard for [educated] immigrants.

According to an article published in The Local, a new report by SCB for 2008 shows that immigrants make up 41% of people working as cleaners in Sweden, although this vulnerable group makes up only 16% of the workforce.

In Sweden's capital and largest city - Stockholm, 80% of office or hotel cleaners were not born in Sweden. Other major cities like Malmö and Gothenburg register high percentages of immigrants in the same field - 66% and 56% respectively. Are immigrants good for nothing else?

The report shows that a good number of foreigners are nurses, hospital orderlies (people who do the hospital jobs that nurses won't do), child minders and personal assistants. Foreigners were under-represented in the military, police force, fire fighter departments and air traffic control.

All in all, the report reveals some good news; foreigners are well-represented in certain professions - many are bus drivers, tram drivers, dancers and language professionals. You must be surprised I termed this "good news", but trust me - Sweden has come a long way to even let foreigners drive buses and trams.

Note that the report does not mention highly skilled and relatively well-paid careers - those enjoyed by lawyers, bankers, doctors, etc. In my opinion, these are "no-go areas" for immigrants in Sweden, as of today. Whether or not the situation will change, is a matter of time.

What are your thoughts about these shameful statistics? Is Sweden doing enough to integrate immigrants?

I look forward to reading your comments.


  1. Does this apply to those immigrants who attend "skilled" professional schools there and speak the language?

  2. yea I was going to ask the same question....
    are you saying if i move to sweden and perhaps attend edical school and become a licensed physician, I will have a hard time getting a job?
    when you say educated immigrants, do you mean the ones who where educated in their home country and sweden does not recognize their degrees?

  3. Hey Tegha, nice article. I live in Finland, and its the same thing; no sorry worse. "Bella" and "mon petit Niche" we are saying a physician is a pretty demanding field and if u take that path, you probably make up the 0.001% of immigrants with a job like that. However, those programs are offered in swedish, that will mean when you move here you take some 2 to 3 years of doing close to nothing to learn the language, then try to get a position into a program like that, then do some 7 years to make the 0.001% Most foreigners cant afford that time and money. The majority will have a masters degree in some swedish university, learn some swedish, least enough to communicate, then go back and make up the 66% in malmo for example making up the cleaners. Aint that right Tegha?

  4. I can't disagree with you, Mushu. The situation applies to most immigrants; including those educated in Sweden. I know quite many who can't get the jobs they deserve. However, "Mon Petite Niche", if you move to Sweden, study the language and enroll in Med. school, you might become one of the first licensed physicians who don't look like the majority of people in the land.

  5. Hi Zuzeeko, thank you for confirming my concerns in Finland why unemployment among immigrants is so high.


Search this Blog

Related Posts with Thumbnails