From September 2015, and to a lesser extent also in 2016, there has been a stream of young people seeking refuge in Sweden coming from conflict areas. The city of Trelleborg saw more than 4,000 people under 18 years of age arrive in the last quarter of 2015 via Trelleborg harbor, one of the biggest in Sweden. Most of them proceeded to other destinations, but approximately 100 are currently staying in Trelleborg. Their origin is mainly from Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia.
Trelleborg Group worked with the city of Trelleborg to understand how best to support the integration of these newly arrived people into Swedish society. The greatest needs are apparently not material, but rather in areas such as information about education options, what kind of jobs there are, how the Swedish labor market works with internships or trial periods, etc.
So, one of the conclusions drawn is that mentoring would be a useful channel for these newcomers to get the information and support they really need. Nine youths – between 16 and 19 years old – will have mentors that hold various positions in Trelleborg Group to discuss and help them find their way in Sweden.
“We have made a plan over two months, when there will be six meetings in total between mentor and mentee,” says Henrik Dreyer, Trelleborg Group Human Resources. “If the relationships work well, they could of course continue after the planned period.”
The first meeting was held at the end of May when the nine boys visited Trelleborg’s head office to meet their mentors for the first time. A light lunch was served, and schedules were made for the coming meetings. Given the background of these young people, sometimes being from war zones or other violent circumstances, there may challenges along the way. However, the Trelleborg mentors are all inspired to guide their mentees forward.