SKILL NEEDS IN THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR IN NORWAY. RESULTS FROM THE VOX BAROMETER 2011
Vox, National Agency for Lifelong Learning (NORWAY)
«Everybody knows» that there is an increasing demand for employees with higher skills than before. But is this necessarily the one and only truth for all kinds of enterprises? The last year’s Vox employer survey shows that in fact, the public and the private sector in Norway have quite different skill needs. Whilst the public sector is mostly in need of employees with higher education, private enterprises are demanding skills at all levels.
The Vox barometer is an annual CATI survey directed towards 1 000 respondents of respectively the adult Norwegian population and Norwegian employers. The employer survey of November 2011 asked questions on recruitment difficulties in the last and next two years.
For the employers in the private sector the difficulties in recruiting persons with high and medium skills have been almost the same in the preceding two years. 31 per cent of the employers from the private and 43 per cent from the public sector had difficulties in recruiting persons with high skills (i.e. higher education). 18 per cent from the public sector found it difficult to recruit people with education at upper secondary level (i.e. medium skills). In the private sector 29 per cent replied that it had been difficult to recruit persons at this educational level. Whereas 20 per cent of the employers from this sector found it difficult to recruit people who had not completed any education at the upper secondary level (low skills), only 11 per cent in the public sector found this problematic. The construction and transportation, storage and communication enterprises found it most difficult to recruit low skilled personnel.
The respondents who expected that it would be difficult to recruit qualified personnel, regardless of skill level, in the next two years, were asked if it would be problematic to recruit job seekers with different skill levels. The tendencies that we just have seen in the recruitment of last two years continues in the expectations of the next two years: 95 per cent of the employers from the public sector anticipate that it will be difficult to recruit persons with high skills in the next two years, whilst in the private sector the figure is 58 percent. 54 percent from this sector expect it will be difficult to recruit persons with medium skills. In the public sector the expectations of recruitment difficulties at upper secondary level and lower are respectively 27 and 7 per cent. In the private sector 25 per cent think it will be difficult to recruit persons who have not passed upper secondary school. The enterprises of hotels and restaurant and transport, storage and communication have the highest demand for workers with low skills.
The Vox survey confirms both national and international forecasts: There is an increasing need of skilled workers in Norway just as in the rest of Europe. This need is particularly high in the public sector. But in some private enterprises there is still a certain demand for an unskilled workforce.