Ericsson has this year taken 26 young people under its wing as part of Tekniksprånget (roughly translated: technology leap). Tekniksprånget offers high-school students four-month apprenticeships at high-tech companies, giving them a chance to learn the ropes and discover more about the profession.
“It is really important for us to show future talents what kind of challenges and exciting opportunities we can offer,” says Kristoffer Jaworska Persson, HR generalist in charge of the Tekniksprånget program at Ericsson. “It’s crucial for us to maintain our technology leadership by ensuring that we are an attractive employer for young competent people.”
New business realities and global competition have made the hunt for talent vital. Citing Statistics Sweden, Jaworska Persson says there will be a shortage of over 50,000 engineers in Sweden by 2030 due to an expected wave of retirees. This poses a risk for Sweden losing its competitive edge; thus initiatives such as Tekniksprånget have been started to reverse this trend.
By offering a modern view of the engineering profession – and its role in society –companies such as Ericsson that support Tekniksprånget hope to inspire more young people to pursue engineering studies.
Ericsson President and CEO Hans Vestberg says: “We employ tens of thousands of engineers who help us design and create the foundations for what we call the Networked Society, where a new mindset is the starting point for new opportunities for people, business and society.
“Learning how to create things and develop new ideas is at the core of engineering, and that leads to innovation that companies like Ericsson can build on.”
Apart from hands-on training, the interns attend presentations about different aspects of the company and inspirational talks by key Ericsson personalities such as Sara Mazur, Head of Ericsson Research, who spoke to them about how technology and innovation help to benefit society.
“We’re comfortable in our thinking that our junior trainees feel proud of being at Ericsson and that they learn something new every day,” Jaworska Persson says.
And for one day, 19-year old aspiring engineer Ludvig Strand felt how it was to be in the shoes of Ericsson President and CEO Hans Vestberg.
Strand, an intern at the M-commerce unit of Business Unit Support Solutions, got the rare chance of shadowing Vestberg. Curious and daring by nature, Strand asked if he could shadow the CEO of Ericsson and learn more about what he does during an ordinary day at work. Vestberg admired the initiative and responded positively.
“I believe Tekniksprånget is a very good opportunity for young people to get a deeper understanding of what Ericsson as a company stands for, and what we do, our whole business, and our reach in the global markets,” Vestberg says. “We are very happy to support it.”
So for a day, Strand tagged along with Vestberg on his hectic schedule, feeling how it’s like to be in his role. “I found it really interesting to see how Vestberg performs his role as CEO of a global ICT company,” Strand says. “You can’t help but be smitten by Vestberg’s positive attitude. He is always on the go with an upbeat outlook and he doesn’t get stressed when things don’t pan out as planned.”
If you want to know more about Ludvig Strand’s day with CEO Hans Vestberg, check out www.facebook.com/ericsson where Ludvig posted his reflections.