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European Vocational Skills Week
News announcement20 November 2017Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Putting down roots in Sweden


From growing up in Ethiopia to gardening in Sweden – Abshir’s journey was a long one. Help was available along the way thanks to an ESF-funded vocational project.
Abshir was 17 when his family moved to Malmö, Sweden. For a young man who’d grown up in Ethiopia, it was like stepping into a different world. “It was a real culture shock,” he remembers. “Everything was different from what I had imagined and I felt like an outsider.”
Naturally sociable and friendly, Abshir was determined to find his feet in his new country. Learning Swedish was the first major challenge he had to overcome and the second came when he started looking for work. “I didn’t know how to get a job or anything like that,” he explains.
The New City project, run by local community organisation Drömmarnas Hus, was just what Abshir needed. The project specifically supports young people in Abshir’s position and he received vocational training in areas such as work, life skills and how to present himself. A work experience placement at a garden centre set him on the path to employment and later turned into a full-time job.
It was the start of a new chapter for Abshir. The full-time job was soon followed by his own home, a driving licence, a car, a growing social life and – best of all – plans for the future.
Want to find out more? Check out the links below:
About the project
The New City project website (Swedish)
Inclusive approaches (ESF website)
Social inclusion (ESF website)
Creating chances for youth (ESF website)
Opportunities for young people (Youth Guarantee)