In a budget bill due to be presented later this autumn, the Social Democrats propose tightening links between Sweden’s universities and local employers.
“There are a lot of small- and medium-sized companies in need of closer ties to universities and at the same time there are many students in need of work experience connected to their studies,” Social Democrat economic policy spokeswoman Magdalena Andersson told Sveriges Television (SVT).
She explained that her party has been partly inspired by a student worker programme in Denmark through which students gain relevant work experience before completing their studies.
At the same time, companies are able to find and help workers with the right skills to help them grow.
While similar programmes exist in Sweden, they are much less widespread. The Social Democrats want to expand the concept to Sweden’s 30 largest universities and university colleges by providing funds for them to employ “competence agents” (‘kompetensförmedlare’) to help students find appropriate, temporary employment.
The agent will also reach out to companies to explain the benefits of hiring student workers.
The Social Democrats’ budget bill sets aside 15 million kronor ($2.3 million) per year for the programme.
Andersson added that the programme isn’t meant as a replacement, but rather as a compliment, to traditional part-time student jobs such as working as a cashier or salesperson.
“There’s nothing wrong with those types of jobs,” she told SVT.
“But this would be better, especially for those who have been educated for several years.”