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Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Norway 2014

image of Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Norway 2014

Norway is characterised by very high levels of migration from within the European Economic Area (EEA) and growing but small scale labour migration from countries outside the EEA. In this context, the challenge for managing discretionary labour migration is to ensure it complements EEA flows. High-skilled workers who come to Norway often leave, even if their employer would like to keep them. Norway has many international students, but most appear to leave at graduation or in the years that follow. The spouses of skilled migrants – usually educated and talented themselves – face challenges in finding employment, and this may cause the whole family to leave. Key industries in smaller population centres wonder how they will source talent in the future. This review examines these aspects of the Norwegian labour migration system. It considers the efficiency of procedures and whether the system is capable of meeting demand. It looks at several policy measures that were implemented and withdrawn, and assesses how these and other mechanisms could be better applied. The characteristics and behaviour of past labour migrants is examined to suggest means of encouraging promising immigrants to remain, and how Norway might attract the specific labour migrants from which it can most benefit in the future.

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Evolution and characteristics of labour migration to Norway

Immigration to Norway has increased since the expansion of the EEA in 2004 to include Eastern Europe, and Norway is now one of the leading labour migration destinations in the OECD. Most immigrants are from these new EEA countries. Immigrants play an important role in certain occupations. EEA migrants earn less than other migrants and native-born. Non-EEA labour migration is smaller scale but also increasing, and concentrated in certain sectors. Several temporary programmes attract migrants with different characteristics, although numbers are low overall.

English

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