The three largest Wallenberg Foundations have recently decided to earmark EUR 33 m. to support education and training activities for young people and refugees from disadvantaged areas.
“There are a lot of young people that are not part of the education system and or the job market. One of the major challenges for the future will be to create opportunities for them. The education and training initiative launched by the Wallenberg Foundations is our way of reducing the risk of exclusion for refugees and new comers.” says Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chairman of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.
Sweden has a long tradition of opening its doors to large numbers of refugees but the increasing numbers arriving during such a short period of time is a challenge for the Swedish society
“Education, training and jobs are key to the successful integration of people of all ages. It is essential to make use of each individual skills and talents as quickly as possible; many of the refugees are well-educated and trained in fields where Sweden currently has an acute labor shortage. The health care sector, for example, has a serious shortage of nurses and doctors. Professional competence and experiences will deteriorate if they are not put in use,” comments Göran Sandberg, Executive Director of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.
A ten-year education and training initiative is being supported by the Wallenberg Foundations and will be carried out by various qualified organisations. The main organisations involved are the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the Swedish Academy.
The initiative includes summer schools in scientific subjects, intensive courses in Swedish, and tutoring for students who have recently arrived.
Newly arrived young adults with degrees in technical, scientific and business subjects will be offered internships.
The Foundations will also support qualified organisations who start programs such as training courses for newly arrived doctors, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists, as well as courses for those with IT and programming backgrounds.
Two science centres; Tekniska museet in Stockholm and Universeum in Gothenburg, will be supported as a way to increase the number of young students from excluded areas and newcomers to visit the Science centers and learn about the natural sciences.
Finally support will be given for homework activities as well as other activities to make integration easier.
About The Wallenberg Foundations
The Wallenberg Foundations is the collective name for the Swedish non-profit Foundations funded by individual members of the Wallenberg family. The Foundations approved grants totaling over SEK 2 billion in 2015.
The largest of the Wallenberg Foundations is Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, founded in 1917, which promotes scientific research in the natural sciences, technology and medicine. The other two large foundations are the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation and the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation.