Interview with Andreas Schönström, Jonas Gambel & Karin Heri: A golden team for the first job


When Kockums in Malmö was the largest, the shipyard in the Western Harbor had 8 employees. Today, there are just as many employees in the area but distributed to 000 companies. It is an illustrative picture of how the labor market has changed.

The structural change places new demands, not least on education. High school is today more or less compulsory for those who are looking for a job. Networks and personal contacts are required to enter the labor market. A large group of young people are thus placed outside. Youth unemployment in Malmö is 19-20 per cent.

The laundry and textile service industry is now collaborating with Malmö's all-Swedish gold club to make a difference.

Contacts and networks are required

- The Swedish labor market is extremely focused on adding jobs through contacts, which makes it difficult for those without a network. It is much easier to get a job for someone who already has one. Therefore, it is very important that there are jobs with low thresholds that can give people a chance to quickly show what they are going for. The laundry industry, I believe, has the opportunity to open up to more young people with what they need most: professional knowledge and work experience. This is valuable, says Andreas Schönström, municipal council (s) responsible for the labor market, upper secondary and adult education in Malmö.

A good industry to start in

The laundry and textile service industry is good at creating entry-level jobs, for example for new arrivals and others who are far from the labor market. Jonas Gambel is site manager for Comforta in Malmö. He tells us about the cooperation the company has with Malmö FF to offer unemployed young malmö residents jobs.

- The type of production we have is entry-level jobs for many. With us, people receive training on everything that has to do with work. We do not have the world's requirements for prior knowledge, however, we must have people who understand the entire chain. Targeted people who care about the environment and the end customer. We are completely dependent on them. The staff is responsible for finishing and servicing our customers.

- It is a huge challenge for us to be able to recruit. We have a large proportion of hotels and restaurants, as customers and volumes depend on how they are doing. We must therefore continuously adapt our operations to varying needs. MFF has helped us find the right candidates that fit well with our business. We are very happy.

How is this related?

- We have been thinking new, explains Andreas Schönström. MFF is one of the associations that has entered into an idea-based public partnership with the City of Malmö. MFF has access to networks through their business contacts, youth activities, leadership experience and meeting young people where they are. The idea is that everyone through partnership should work towards the same goal on equal terms. Then we achieve better results.

Real jobs

Karin Heri is the operations manager at the Career Academy, which is the MFF's initiative to make a contribution to youth unemployment. Based on the needs of the club's co-operative companies, the unemployed ore residents aged 16-29 match real jobs.

- We noted that youth unemployment is rising and that companies at the same time find it difficult to find the right skills. What is missing? Karin Heri asks rhetorically.

Matches as needed

As mentioned earlier, networks and contacts are keys to entering the labor market. This is what MFF delivers by bringing together young people with the club's corporate sponsors in collaboration with the youth projects in Malmö, the Employment Service and the municipality. To make it sustainable, the Career Academy acts on the basis of the needs of the business community.

- We match to a real job according to the companies requirements specification, says Karin Heri. Jonas Gambel confirms:

- Matches take place in consensus and it goes very fast. They get involved and have put in time to make it work. It is safe for us.

Hit the target by 125%

The goal for 2016 was to match 40 people and that goal was met with good measure. The week before Christmas, the Career Academy had matched 90 jobs. The laundry industry in Malmö accounted for one-sixth of them.

- The industry has tasks that are well suited for those who do not have a theoretical background and are not afraid to roll up their sleeves, emphasizes Karin Heri.

Some are employed full time, others six months. Some remain, others move on. The Career Academy works according to how the labor market looks.

The first job is important

- Exciting to follow what happened in the future when the young people got a new reference and a line on their resume. It is important to get a first job. Many people have already testified that they have become self-sufficient, says Karin Heri.

- In addition to getting the entrance job, we must in the longer term build up the industrial job in Malmö. The manufacturing industry in Malmö accounts for only 6-6,5 per cent of employment, while the national average is 13 per cent. We have more in common with cities like Rotterdam and some French cities than with the rest of Sweden, says Andreas Schönström.

- These are completely new challenges we are facing and it is exciting. We have great opportunities. Many companies have taken the initiative and want to help. I am very hopeful for 2017.

Told for Ulf Silfverström

25% RUT deduction on laundry