Half of Norway’s waiting staff foreign - report / News / The Foreigner

Half of Norway’s waiting staff foreign - report. Foreigners in the hospitality sector make a major contribution towards keeping the Scandinavian country’s drinkers and diners going. 47 per cent of waiting and service personnel have a foreign background, according to the report commissioned by Norway’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries. This was over twice the number working in Norway in 2003 – which was 22 per cent in that year. Need for labour

work, norway, jobs, immigration, employment



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Half of Norway’s waiting staff foreign - report

Published on Wednesday, 17th December, 2014 at 14:24 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 17th December 2014 at 14:48.

Foreigners in the hospitality sector make a major contribution towards keeping the Scandinavian country’s drinkers and diners going.

Table for one?
Immigration and foreign labour has covered the need for skilled labour in recent years. Something to chew on, perhaps?Table for one?
Photo: Robert S. Donovan/Flickr


47 per cent of waiting and service personnel have a foreign background, according to the report commissioned by Norway’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries.

This was over twice the number working in Norway in 2003 – which was 22 per cent in that year.

Need for labour

Personnel of all nationalities employed in food and beverage service activities in 2013 comprised about 105,000.

The report, compiled by Nordic Socioeconomic and Policy Consultancy company DAMVAD, also shows that 56 per cent of foreign origin and so-termed ethnic Norwegian staff are under 30 years of age.

Another contributor to the report was Economic Analysis Norway, a group of economists that perform analysis and consultancy work.

Roger Bjørnstad, chief economist at the group, tells the Foreigner why he believes that there are so many foreigners and young people working in this sector.

“I would say that it’s for the same reason. This is because the sector is one of the remaining ones in Norway with low recruitment costs and which needs workers with low to medium-high education levels. It’s also one of the gateways to Norwegian working life.”

Higher immigrant ratio

It has also always been an important recruitment source of young people while they are studying and after they finish their studies, Mr Bjørnstad says.

Workers from Asia represent the strongest growth in restaurant, bar, and takeaway employees (12 per cent in 2003, 23 per cent in 2013). Employment growth for people from Asia, as opposed to other countries, was also highest in the same period.

“Norway is also experiencing the highest immigration numbers in Europe compare to the size of the population.”

“Moreover, it’s important to remember that Norway is the country in Europe with the smallest wage gaps, high relative wages, and relatively low unemployment. This gives people with low education and the unemployed elsewhere quite a high incentive to come and work here,” explains Mr Bjørnstad.

Little change, but an increase

Extensive use of part-time and temporary labour, as well as a high proportion of non-Norwegian workers characterise the food and beverage industry, state the report’s authors.

“While there has been little change in age and gender distribution over time, the use of labour utilising [people of a] foreign background has increased significantly,” the document reads.

Extremely successful Norwegian businessman Olav Thon, and immigrant multi-millionaire tyre king Tommy Sharif, have both slammed young Norwegians’ lacklustre work attitudes.   

“The food and beverage service industry, like many other Norwegian industries, experiences difficulties recruiting sufficient numbers of skilled staff,” states the report.

“The need for skilled labour has for the last years been covered by immigration and foreign labour, however, lower expected immigration and declining interest among young people in Norway can challenge future growth in the industry.”

Unfavourable conditions

The Foreigner asked Professor Reidar Johan Mykletun, of the Norwegian School of Hotel Management at the University of Stavanger, why more foreigners than Norwegians choose to work in this sector. The School is a member of global network the Hotel Schools of Distinction.

“I think it’s due to three reasons. Firstly, it’s the size of the salary; it’s not very well paid. Then there are the unsociable working hours. Working shifts is common in other sectors such as healthcare, but I think the wage levels are more of an important explanation here.”

“Thirdly, many of these jobs are dead-end ones. People would have to move to another sector if they want another job, which results in a high staff turnover. On the other hand, the food and beverage service industry is positive, because it provides and opening for employment and pay. It’s good news, in that way,” explains the Professor, who was the report’s third co-author.

Stavanger-based law firm Bull & Co. was the fourth contributor to the report. It was handed to the Conservatives Party’s (H) Minister of Trade and Industry, Monica Mæland, Wednesday.

Saying that it “contains several important findings”, the Minister added that “I worked at an outdoor restaurant, cafeteria, and in catering in my youth.”

“It gave me valuable experience,” she commented in a statement.




Published on Wednesday, 17th December, 2014 at 14:24 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 17th December 2014 at 14:48.

This post has the following tags: work, norway, jobs, immigration, employment.





  
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