Norway: lack of education not reason for lack of employment

According to a recent study in Norway, the immigrants in the country are well educated, and therefore it is not lack of education that is causing high unemployment among those immigrants. Not surprising, since a Danish study was published on this very issue just a month ago, along with some relevant details on what will help unemployment among immigrants.

'We were surprised that education and experience from abroad did not make it easier to find a job in Denmark,' said study leader Anders Rosendahl to business daily Idag. 'Education and experience have to be Danish if you want to increase your chances of finding a job.'

Further, the study found that the more integrated you are into your host country (ie, if you speak Danish, have Danish friends, marry a Dane etc) the more chances you'll have of finding a job. I doubt it's any different in Norway.

Norway has one of the highest percentages of well educated immigrants in the world, and a lack of expertise is no excuse for their poor employment rate in the country.

Four out of ten immigrants to Norway have received higher education, and their inability to find work cannot be explained by a lack of credentials according to new OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development) statistics, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) reports.

Gender Equality and Discrimination commissioner Beate Gangås is surprised by the figures.

"Most people believe that immigrants do not have an education. This is a good example of the opposite," Gangås said.

The 40 percent with college or university education includes both western and non-western immigrant. Three of four Norwegian immigrants are from non-western countries, the high education rate cannot be explained by Europeans, NRK reports.

The OECD report has focused on Europe and the USA. Only Great Britain and Ireland beat Norway in terms of highly educated immigrants. The employment problem facing immigrants is widespread, and no OECD country employed foreign academics as fully as highly educated nationals.

Minister of Labor and Social Inclusion Bjarne Håkon Hanssen admitted that better results in employing immigrants were necessary, and that it was an important task.

"I have already had in all directors of state companies and both imposed measures and urged efforts to tackle the challenges linked to integration in the workplace," Hanssen told NRK.

"This is clearly one of the tools that must be used, so we will see how much effect it has. But it is completely clear that we must do a lot on many fronts to solve this situation," said Gangås

Source: Aftenposten (English)

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