A technical workforce for regional industrial development? Origin and dispersion of graduates from the technical secondary schools in Malmö and Borås 1855–1930

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article connects to the discussion on skills and knowledge during the early industrialisation. It focuses on how two out of four technical secondary schools in Sweden (Malmö and Borås) lived up to their aims communicated by politicians and other stakeholders: to provide emerging industries and crafts in their regions with technicians and to prepare for studies at the Technological Institute. Initially, a majority of students came from the school regions, but the share of long-distance students increased over time. A majority served in industry and craft, and the study reflects chemistry’s and electricity’s breakthrough with increasing shares of graduates employed over time. Several graduates continued to further studies; not only at the Technological Institute but also elsewhere in Sweden and abroad. As for the purpose to provide the regions with technicians, the results are ambiguous. Many graduates, especially from Borås, moved to other parts of Sweden and abroad. Malmö graduates stayed more often in the school region because Malmö was a larger city, and the school region more industrially diversified. The brain-drain from the school regions was not necessarily problematic as in-migration of technicians from other schools compensated.


External organisations
  • Luleå University of Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic History


  • economic development, industrialisation, migration, regionalism, Technical education
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Economic History Review
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021
Publication categoryResearch