The battle for petroleum and civil engineers in Norway means good times for thousands of international and domestic applicants.
Bonus for many
âThe only people with a tighter labour market than civil engineers are tinsmiths,â Erik StrĂžm at The Norwegian Society of Graduate Technical and Scientific Professionals (Tekna) tells Dagens NĂŠringsliv (DN).
The union estimates a shortage of over 7,000 engineers in total. Consultants Sweco, risk-management company Det Norske Veritas (DNV), and Aker Solutions estimate they will be hiring 100, 1,000, and 2,000 this year, respectively.
Akerâs HR Director, Berit BjerkĂ„sholmen, would rather classify the hunt for engineers as a âbattleâ, rather than a âshortageâ.
âWe used to upsize when we won a project, but now wish to stay ahead,â she says, informing the paper several companies in the group have also used internal incentive schemes to obtain qualified personnel.
French oil service company Technipâs Norwegian arm paid one of its personnel 10,000 kroner after hiring his friend from Iran on recommendation. Technip has 450 employees.
âLast yearâs bonus was [also] very good,â the employee says.
Managing Director Odd StrĂžmnes argues the practise allows the company to hold on to the best heads. Technip is also hiring from abroad, including Spain and Portugal.
âWe are a large concern and can compensate for the situation in Norway by recruiting from places where the labour market less active,â he says.
A problem for others
Engineers are also abandoning ash-hit and cash-strapped cooler Iceland, amongst the 4,340 moved off the island last year.
The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administrationâs (NAV) Eures (EURopean Employment Services) also helps businesses recruit qualified staff. 13 travelled with them to last weekendâs job fair in Reykjavik.
Advisor Ragnhild Synstad, says âWe had to turn half a dozen of them down.â
KatrĂn JĂșlĂusdĂłttir, Icelandâs Industry, Energy, and Tourism Minister, admits the island faces a huge challenge.
âAn extremely high number of young, skilled people have moved and several more want to. We are completely dependant upon having inhabitants with the right qualifications to build the island up again to how we would like it to be.â
Analysts predict unemployment will be at 10 percent for the next few years, according to DN.
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