Oslo Chamber of Commerce and NHO are concerned about the lack of highly educated people in Norway compared to the demand that Norwegian sectors are experiencing.
The organizations state that Norway is at risk of increased unemployment and a struggle unless the country is made more attractive to highly educated immigrants.
Lars-Kåre Legernes at Oslo Chamber of Commerce says that it is naïve to think that highly educated people will automatically come to Norway. “Norway is a ticking bomb when it comes to knowledge’.
Recent reports from the Chamber of Commerce show that only 37 per cent of the Norwegian population has gone through higher education. Legernes says this is far from enough to cover the demand within the different sectors in the coming years. He notes that Norway is far more popular amongst immigrants who are less educated.
The statement from NHO and the Chamber of commerce comes after the government declared its initiative to help less educated immigrants with Norwegian lessons. Legernes is asking for a stronger policy to keep educated immigrants in the country as well as inviting them here. He thinks there should be tax relief for so called educated immigrants as well as available residence permits to foreigners finishing their PhD studies in Norway.
Norwegian politicians are so far rejecting the suggestion of tax relief, but the opposition (Høyre og Fremskritspartiet) say they will consider a 3 year resident permit for anyone who has recently finished their PhD in Norway. There is a move towards initatives to encourage people with higher education both to come to Norway in the first place, as well as staying.