Labour migration to Norway high, improvements possible - report / News / The Foreigner

Labour migration to Norway high, improvements possible - report. Norway has become a major labour migration country in the OECD but more could be done, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation. Unemployment has remained below the OECD average. Participation rates are above the OECD average, with unemployment having declined slightly over the past 5 years. Unlike other OECD countries, the labour migration policy in Norway is not linked to finding long-term workforce development or demographic objectives.

work, employment, norway, jobs, migration



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Labour migration to Norway high, improvements possible - report

Published on Monday, 12th January, 2015 at 14:15 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock.
Last Updated on 12th January 2015 at 14:30.

Norway has become a major labour migration country in the OECD but more could be done, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation.

Working week
Working week
Photo: Ed Yourdon/Flickr


Their latest Recruiting Immigrant Workers in Norway report shows that the Scandinavian country has one of the highest net migration levels of OECD countries in relation to its population.

Immigration from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s was mostly for humanitarian and family reasons, but has been driven by labour migration since then.

Total net migration rate in the 21st Century’s first 10 years was 6 per cent, with net migration contributing to 60% of population growth.

Net migration has been running at some 1 per cent annually for the past four years.

Below average

Unemployment has remained below the OECD average. Participation rates are above the OECD average, with unemployment having declined slightly over the past 5 years.

Unlike other OECD countries, the labour migration policy in Norway is not linked to finding long-term workforce development or demographic objectives.

Norway is also less affected by the concern over the global competition for talent or skills shortages.

Workers are attracted the highly sought-after wage levels which Norway offers. Moreover, Norwegian employers already search abroad to fill vacancies in a number of sectors and occupations.

Recruitment is currently mostly from the Nordic region and in Europe. 14% of Norwegian employers attempted to, or actually recruited from abroad in 2012.

Norway also admits skilled labour migrants from outside of the Nordics and EEA, though labour migration levels are small.

The OECD’s report shows, for example, that 14% are from India, 8% from China. About 1 in 4 is from 1 of 34 OECD countries.

The oil sector was most likely to have firms recruiting from abroad, alongside hospitality and manufacturing.

Firms with seasonal agriculture needs also recruited abroad.

Auf Wiedersehen, adieu, ciao, ha det bra

The OECD’s report also shows that highly-skilled workers that come to Norway often leave, even though the employer would prefer to continue their employment.

This could be because skilled migrants’ spouses appear to struggle to find jobs or are not allowed to work, even though they are educated.

Furthermore, an increasing number of international students in Norway leave after graduation or in the years that follow.

This means that the international student population does not feed into the Scandinavian country’s labour migration channel, in contrast to what occurs in most other OECD countries.

The OECD’s report also found that people who do not speak Norwegian had less success in the Norwegian labour market.

Advice

A survey of Adult Skills (PLAAC) suggests that immigration policies that recruit people only on the basis of their educational attainment may not be successful in identifying and attracting the most skilled ones who will succeed there.

While some skilled migrants can work in English-speaking environments, longer employment duration would require them to learn Norwegian.

Labour migrants and their families are required to pay for language courses, which can cost of 2,000 euros and upwards, and are not necessarily compatible with full-time employment.

Norway introduced a job search permit to improve the labour supply of tertiary-qualified workers in 2010, but this was subsequently scrapped over concerns of fraud.

The latest OECD report contains five recommendations regarding Norway. These are:

  • Identify target areas where Norway represents a strong competitor for skilled workers who would be more likely to stay.
  • Eliminate the cap on skilled permits that are exempt from a labour market test.
  • Market tertiary education as a pathway to employment in Norway.
  • Reconsider au pair criteria to ensure that the cultural exchange programme is not a domestic work permit.
  • Strengthen services for labour migrants and their families.



Published on Monday, 12th January, 2015 at 14:15 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock.
Last updated on 12th January 2015 at 14:30.

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





  
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