'Stockholm rioters could be a labour asset'
The head of Sweden's Employment Agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) has said Swedish employers need to be more open-minded in their recruitment, choosing to joke about the organizational skills of vandals during the recent Stockholm riots.
Agency chief Angelez Bermudez-Svanqvist made her comments on Thursday at The Economist's Digital Horizons Conference in Stockholm.
She first addressed her own previous work in health care, adding that in retrospect she felt that employers in Sweden need not always demand perfect Swedish from their would-be staff.
"If you are a brain surgeon, do you need perfect Swedish when you are operating on someone who is sedated?" she asked the audience rhetorically.
Because hand gestures and grunts are a perfectly adequate way for a brain surgeon to communicate with his nurses and anesthesiologist, because, hey, it's not rocket surgery. I mean, it's not brain science.
Bermudez-Svanqvist decided to continue her talk about seeing hidden competences also among young people - of whom one in four is not in work - by referring to the string of vandalism across Stockholm in May, after unrest in the suburb Husby spread.
"These revolutionary acts, because we are talking about revolution aren't we?" she joked about the title of the debate, Workforce Revolution, which looked at how digital technology could help employers and jobseekers find each other.
"These acts show organizational skills, these are people who follow a leader," she said about the arson attacks on buildings and cars that grabbed headline space across the world.
Bermudez-Svanqvist also pointed out that there was a working-condition like aspect to why some young people end up engaging in crime.
"Those leaders 'employ' you even if you're young, they even take you out for coffee," she said.
Sweden has long been at loss over how to tackle youth unemployment, with a string of governments looking at various solutions.
This is from The Local ("Sweden's News in English").