‘Greece is very Sweden-friendly,’ explains Mia Myrgren, a EURES Adviser responsible for Greece and one of seven members in the Swedish Health group.
‘There has been lots of cooperation between our two governments over the years, not least in the 1960s and 70s when lots of Greek people came here for work. It’s one of the only countries in Europe where you can go as a recruiter and expect to receive CVs from applicants who already speak Swedish.’
Because of these historical links, many people in Greece choose to study Swedish and are open to the prospect of moving north. EURES Sweden has been arranging the Joint Sweden-Greece European Job Day twice a year for several years.
The latest was held from 3 to 6 April, with the aim of matching doctors, nurses, biomedical analysts, physiotherapists, IT professionals and life-science experts with employers throughout Sweden.
Myrgren, based in Malmö, works with county councils and regions across the whole of Sweden and travelled to Greece with representatives from three recruiting employers: Region Norrbotten, Närhälsan Västra Götaland and private hospital Stockholms Sjukhem.
From the 72 applications EURES received, recruiters chose 31 nurses and doctors to interview on site. A further 13 people were interviewed after applying spontaneously at the event’s ‘Open Space’. Employers will now invite approximately 10 candidates to Sweden for a second selection stage.
The CVs of people who applied but weren’t interviewed on the day will be circulated among other employers in the sector in the coming months.
‘Last year we placed about twenty doctors and nurses from Greece just in the north of Sweden,’ Myrgren says. ‘In total, we placed sixty-seven doctors and nurses in the whole country. There’s a lot of interest from Greek people in coming to work here.’
The Swedish authorities have recently tightened regulations about the language skills a person must demonstrate before they are granted a licence to practise medicine. Usually, employers who recruit candidates from the Swedish Week will provide them with language training in Athens and Thessaloniki; once they’ve achieved level B1 or B2 they will be employed as assistants before receiving a licence to practise in Sweden.
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