Norway may have a labour shortage, but a government minister rejects reports that the country intends to import 100,000 workers from Turkey to address it.
Bjarne Håkon Hanssen was in Turkey last week and claims a misunderstanidng must have led to inaccurate press reports in Ankara and elsewhere across the country that Norway would loosen its immigration restrictions, to recruit and import 100,000 skilled Turkish workers.
One large Turkish web site went so far as to claim that Norway would "open its doors for 100,000 Turks." Wrong, Hanssen told Oslo newspaper Dagsavisen.
"I have of course never said that and never meant that," Hanssen said. He does hope, however, that Norwegian companies will look to Turkey in their quest for workers.
"We have between 130,000 and 140,000 vacant positions in Norway, and Turkey has 450,000 skilled workers who are unemployed," he noted. Hanssen thinks the confusion arose during remarks he and his Turkish colleague made while talking about the labour markets in Norway and Turkey.
"They (the press) haven't understood that this is about private companies' needs. Norway as a country won't be fetching anybody from any place," Hanssen said.
He noted that Turkish workers would be welcome in Norway, if they are skilled and a Norwegian firm invites them. They have to have a job lined up first before coming, he said.
Source: Aftenposten (English)
See also: Norway: Looking to employ 100,000 Turks