Significant recruitment problems for some professions in Norway

According to the Official Committee on Skill Needs´ recently delivered report to the Ministry of Education and Research (Kunnskapsdepartementet), Norway will be experiencing major changes in its future job market.

– The purpose has been to provide a collective and comprehensive report. We have mapped a large number of surveys, analyses, and data. At the same time, we emphasize in the report that there has been no time to deal with the full range of issues in the first report. I am looking forward to working on an analysis of Norway’s future competence needs, says Committee Leader Professor Steinar Holden from the University of Oslo.

The Official Committee on Skill Needs was founded in May in 2017 and consists of scientists and representatives from the labour market. Its function is to provide an evaluation of Norway’s future skills needs.

Competence level in Norway could be better
In the report, which is officially named Fremtidige kompetansebehov I. Kunnskapsgrunnlaget, the committee concludes that the level of competence in Norway is good, but that it should be better.

Compared to similar countries, Norway has a high labour productivity and level of education, in addition to having very favourable working conditions for most professions.

However, according to an international study on competency proficiency, the younger Norwegian workers score below average compared to other OECD-countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

Future challenges and Digitalisation and Automation
The findings in the report also stressed that digitalization and automation will play a greater role in the coming years and affect jobs within almost all industries and sectors. This will result in necessary readjustments of expertise and prove new challenges for both leaders and employees. Occupations that are especially prone to automation, are telephone-marketers, auditors, store and office employees. On the other hand, professions that require a great amount of emotional intelligence, such as psychology, nursing, teaching as well as certain types of engineering, are not as affected.  

Statistics Norway´s (SSB) analysis predicts that immigration technological innovation, and retirement will continue to have an important role in future skill-needs and job prospects. Moreover, the rate of societal automation will also have a vital say in regulating the supply and demand of certain jobs, and most likely cave way to more positions for computer and application programming.  

Certain industries suffer more than others
The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) recorded that close to 12 percent of the companies in its business-survey had difficulties recruiting skilled labour. For companies that hire newly graduates, the problem seems to stem from schools and other educational institutions failing to provide the level of expertise these companies seek and expect of recent graduates.  

The difficulties were most visible within the construction industry, where 19 percent of the companies reported that they either failed to hire anyone with relevant skills or hired someone with less expertise than what they were looking for. Other sectors with considerable employment difficulties include health and social care, education, technology, and more, mostly within the tertiary sector of the economy.

At the same time, the report emphasizes the importance of companies´ own initiatives and programs aimed at renewing and hone the competence of its employees, in line
with technological innovation and rapid changing working environments.

Source: Fremtidige kompetansebehov I


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