Åhlens to hire refugees in large diversity project

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Åhléns is investing in diversity – and has a stated objective that at least 20 percent of the workforce within the Åhléns concepts should have international backgrounds in 2020.

New 13 asylum seekers are recruited to the new Café Å lait.

”We must act with both heart and brain in business life and it’s important not to do anything too hard from the beginning, not to see obstacles but opportunities,” says Jonas Sandström, initiator of Åhléns’ diversity projects and business area manager Food & Catering.


Åhléns in cooperation with the Arbetsförmedlingen, the Swedish Employment Service, has recruited 13 new arrivals of Swedes to the new Café Å lait-caféconcept in the Mall of Scandinavia, and in Uppsala.
The initiative is part of the Åhléns diversity project that is supposed to expand to other Café Å lait in Sweden and also to the department stores.
The aim is to give new employees a chance to work and be integrated into Swedish society.

The cooperation with the employment services  launched after the summer and has quickly resulted in thirteen highly qualified people could be employed. One of them is Hamede Tajaddodo Ziyabari who came to Sweden seven months ago:

”I want to make a living and be independent. It feels wonderful to have found such a good job with great colleagues. I am happy and proud to work for Åhléns and have a fixed income. I really like this kind of job that is socially, where you meet different people every day. Something that gives me more pleasure is that I get to learn new things, get better at Swedish and develop as a person.”

The appointments are so-called New Start jobs for asylum seekers and gives employers some financial compensation, depending on age and salary level of the employee. The agreements run for a maximum of two years.