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 It looks at several policy measures that were implemented and withdrawn, and assesses how these and other mechanisms could be better applied.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.


International graduates: An underutilised labour source in Norway

The number of international students enrolled in Norwegian Universities has doubled over the past ten years. However, although Norway changed its policy in the 2000s to allow international students to stay after study if they find skilled work, it has today one of the lowest post-study stay rates in the OECD. In addition, only 6% of skilled labour permits are issued to international students, suggesting that this is not the feeder channel for labour migration that it should be. Understanding the factors determining the attraction and retention of these young students is important is important for Norway to remain competitive in this field. Access to information on job opportunities as well as the promotion of work opportunities during studies, are important parameters determining productive retention.


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