Domtar Internship Program Offers Hope for Immigrants in Sweden

Since 2014, a unique Domtar internship program has helped immigrants find work and make connections in Aneby, Sweden. The program also helps people who are reentering the workforce after a long gap. For people like Moustafa Alahmad, this 10-week internship program is a lifeline.

Alahmad is an ambitious, intelligent young man who studied finance at university. He speaks Kurdish, Arabic, Ukrainian and Russian. Forced to escape the civil war in his home country of Syria, Alahmad fled to Sweden, a nation known for its culture of inclusion and equality. Since he arrived, he has been able to earn enough money to get by, but it’s been difficult to find a steady job.

Domtar’s Personal Care manufacturing plant in Aneby plays an important role in helping newcomers like Alahmad build a new life in Sweden. Plant Manager Trevor Zieseniss explains the need: “Most immigrants can’t speak Swedish when they arrive, which is an obvious barrier to being employable. They also lack access to a social network, making it even more challenging to find opportunities.”

To help immigrants and other people who have been out of work for a long time, the Aneby leadership team created a 10-week internship program with support from the Swedish public employment service. Participants gain practical work experience while improving their language skills. They also have the option to work for another 10 weeks over the summer. Once the internship is complete, participants are eligible to apply for open positions at the facility and become permanent employees.
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