Today people flee for their lives from horrible situations, they flee to survive and often without any belongings as well as often leaving loved ones behind. We, people in a countries without this state of emergency, that are not at war and have fairly good living-standard can do something to help these people. This post is about how we can help them professionally, which naturally will help them as humans as well.
My deepest belief is that a country like Sweden (where I live) in the long-term will benefit greatly by all the knowledge and experience we gain from these refugees. It is a tough situation we have currently with a government system that struggles to keep up with the amount of people arriving. This post will not be about politics or the rough situation we face to take care of these people when they enter our (or other) country. This post is about the opportunity we have over time and what we can do as professionals to help both us and the newly arrived.
This post was triggered when I saw the great Welcome Talent initiative from LinkedIn where they help to match companies that are recruiting to match them with asylum seekers or newly arrived.
It is a fantastic thing and many great startups have already joined as well as a few matured ones. Some that have joined are Spotify, TicTail and Dreamler. Of the matured ones we have the mobile operator 3, Proffice, DFind and Cybercom.
If you are a company with operations in Sweden and in some area are looking to add additional knowledge and staff, do take a look at the LinkedIn initiative Welcome Talent.
This is not a shortcut or in any means giving the refugees a fast lane, it is purely about giving the opportunity for the refugees to be found and participate on the same terms as those already in the system.
What else can we do?
When I heard about this initiative by LinkedIn I started to think. Since I am not living in Stockholm or work for a large corporation I realized that the LinkedIn solution might not work for me / us. But one thing is for sure, our munincipal do have a lot of asylum seekers and newly arrived. I am very confident that many of those have great knowledge, interest and experience from areas that we could be of benefit to include in our company. I did also push the thought even further, why limit it to the company that is currently up and running, why not push the idea to actually starting new ones and include refugees in any way possible. Naturally there are a few things that is needed to be able to make this happen.
- The municipal need to be on board
- We need to be able to identify the individuals that have interest, knowledge and / or experience
- We need to get all the formal stuff cleared with the different migration and employment governmental agencies
- The fact that many refugees are moved around during the asylum process
- The language barrier (not for the actual work since code and design are pretty language independent)
In the ideal world the successful companies would lead to a guaranteed working permit to start with as well as a residence approval. Guess that will be a struggle independant of everyones good will.
Do or Do Not – Yoda
I am confident that independent of if we succeed with the companies or not, everyone involved will be happier after compared with before. Hopefully something like this will not only help the process of integration, it will also benefit the Swedish economy long term as well as helping a lot of individual get back into a working life and make their own living and to be able to take care of their famelys without the support of the government.
Lets see where this will go, I have initiated the first step in the process for my own involvement to help people in need and hopefully that will do some good in the long run.