Sweden is expecting 70,000 shortages of IT consultants by 2022

    A comprehensive process of digitalization in Sweden has led to a growing need for IT specialists in the country. According to recent statistics a deficit of 70,000 IT engineers is expected in 2022.

    To improve the shortage situation in the country four main measures were suggested to be taken by the experts:

    • Strengthen general efforts on digitalization
    • Raise awareness among schools and institutions on needs for IT specialists
    • Accent on continuous education and training during career
    • Improve immigration and attract international talents

    Let’s look closely at the fourth factor – improvement of immigration and attraction of international talents.  

    A globalised economy requires an efficient system for migration and integration.

    In Sweden, business in general and a digital sector, in particular, depend on the international talents. In order to remain internationally competitive and the country without doubt should have advanced and straight-forward immigration policies to reassure that the process of relocation to Sweden for international talents runs as smooth as possible. Through the poor management of labour immigration in recent years, Sweden has lost much of its attractiveness and, thereby, many valuable talents.

    In order to improve immigration situation in the country the following measures are suggested to be taken:

    Develop a national strategy for talent attraction, including a ”onestop-shop” for all case management connected to labour immigration, coordinated by regional ”expat centres”.

    Effective collaboration between the authorities responsible for recruitment and establishment of third-country nationals in the Swedish labour market is crucial for Sweden to be able to compete internationally for skills. Our proposal is to set up regional so-called expat centres for the coordination of all contacts with authorities (one-stop-shop19).

    A prerequisite is that the Migration Agency is given the task of promoting labour immigration for occupations where there is a lack of supply, clearly differentiated from its by nature restrictive asylum management. We also advocate a review of the regulatory framework for employee stock options and expert tax, in order to make it more profitable and attractive to work in Sweden, as a part of the national strategy.

    Aim for an increase of at least 10,000 more international top students applying to Swedish universities and, by extension, to the Swedish labour market by more generous public-private funded scholarship programmes and extended deadlines for seeking work in Sweden after graduation. The number of inbound students has decreased by 10,000 since 2011, and fewer than one in ten students from countries outside the EU get into our labour market. Our scholarship programmes, which are today linked to the aid budget and therefore not freely available to students from all over the world, should be both broadened and increased, including by a greater degree of co-financing with private actors. The aim should be that 10,000 more top students are recruited every year, of which at least half should be willing and able to work in Sweden after graduation. Together with better collaboration between colleges and the working life (as proposed in earlier sections) and an extended deadline to at least a year for seeking work after graduation, it can be ensured that these talents will be available for the Swedish labour market.