Sveriges Ingenjörer

Proposals for a new sustainable system for processing work permits in Sweden

The Swedish Migration Agency has announced that they will abolish the current certification system for processing work permits. The decision is welcomed by Engineers of Sweden, who have long pointed out that the system has significant shortcomings. The union instead wants to see a new and more sustainable system for work permits and is releasing a new report on how it could be made possible.
2023-05-12 10:04
Labour market
Labour migration

For engineers who are residents of countries outside the EU/EEA, the Swedish Migration Agency's certification system has been the most common way to apply for a work permit. Engineers of Sweden has as repeatedly pointed to shortcomings in the certification system concerning risks linked to employment conditions and security for the employee.

– The signals so far from the Swedish Migration Agency regarding their new model for handling work permits for highly qualified workers have not included collective agreements as a requirement. That is unfortunate. The authority now needs to take the next step and put in place a real sustainable system that works for the engineers who apply to work in Sweden and the companies that need their skills, says Ulrika Lindstrand, President for Engineers of Sweden.

In order for Swedish companies to be able to maintain their international competitiveness, it is crucial that they can recruit personnel with the right skills within a tight time frame. Companies that are forced to wait too long to recruit key competencies fall behind their competitors in the global market. In the report "Inför ett hållbart system för arbetstillstånd!" Engineers of Sweden propose a new system for labour immigration where collective agreements play a central role.

– Our proposal are aiming at the function of collective agreements as a guarantor that wages, insurance and other conditions are met. It enables rapid processing of work permits and thus faster international recruitment processes for Swedish companies, says Ulrika Lindstrand, President for Engineers of Sweden.

Collective agreements and employment in Sweden can contribute to a sustainable system for labor immigration. For employment covered by Swedish collective agreements, it is entirely possible to assess in just 10 days whether the conditions of an employment are in line with those that apply in the Swedish labor market.

– We welcome the abolition of the current certification system. But that is only the first step. We now look forward to continued dialogue with the Swedish Migration Agency, employers and politicians for a work permit process that both secures safe conditions for engineers and ensures competitiveness for Swedish companies, says Ulrika Lindstrand, President for Engineers of Sweden

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