Green enterprise introduction course in Sweden

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A cooperative association in Sweden received EAFRD support to offer a tailored course aimed at immigrants, building on their experience of rural life and improving their language skills to increase their prospects of finding work.

Project summary: 

The Swedish cooperative association ‘Macken i Araby’ obtained funding under the Rural Development Programme to set up a new training model for immigrants living in local rural areas.

It first established a steering group to explore how the training could be constructed. To help this process, the group assessed similar initiatives, in particular a two-year course that was set up in Östergötland, Sweden.

The group decided to provide a targeted seven-month training programme that would focus on practical skills to help the immigrants find work in rural Sweden. The next phase was to find a location for the course: the local agricultural secondary school in Ingelstad, which is in the countryside just south of Växjö, was chosen.

Macken i Araby’ continued to support the trainees beyond the duration of the training programme. In particular, it has helped with job applications and introductions, putting the trainees into contact with companies and providing networking opportunities.

Project results: 

Eight immigrants received training in areas in which they had previous experience, covering agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and gardening.

The trainees also had the opportunity to undertake internships at a range of agricultural companies for one or two days a week – a total of 37 days.

The course also allowed the trainees to improve their Swedish language skills in a practical way.

Such efforts led to the full-time employment of one of the trainees – who had previous experience in animal husbandry – on a farm and temporary jobs for several others.

The association is continuing to offer the training course to immigrants beyond the lifetime of the project.