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WORKING IN NORWAY

‘Solid’ Norwegian wage growth predicted in 2022

A solid economy and labour shortages in many industries means workers in Norway can look forward to an increase in wages next year. 

Pictured are people working in an office.
Wages could rise above inflation next year. Pictured are people hard at work in an office. Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash

Workers in Norway can expect to see a sizeable bump to the figure on their wage slip next year, DNB Markets, one of the country’s largest investment banks, has predicted. The bank said that it expected wages to increase by 3.8 percent in the next year.

“We believe that there will be a solid rise in wage growth next year, and if we are right, there will be an increase of half a percentage point compared to the wage growth we have seen this year,” Kjersti Haugland, chief economist for DNB Markets, told public broadcaster NRK.

According to the broadcaster, most economists believe wages will increase beyond the 3 percent mark in 2022.

DNB Markets estimates that despite high inflation in 2021, next year should see inflation of around 2.6 percent. Typically wages only rise as high as inflation, but several factors could lead to wage growth surpassing price rises.

This is due to factors including a strong economy and many industries entering wage settlement negotiations in the new year while simultaneously experiencing a shortage of personnel, Haugland said .

“The bargaining position of the employees will then be strong,” she said.

Norway’s workforce is heavily unionised, and unions play a prominent role in working life in the country. The country doesn’t have a minimum wage. Instead, wages are negotiated through collective agreements between unions and industry organisations.

READ MORE: Why Norway doesn’t have a national minimum wage and how fair pay is ensured

Peggy Hessen Følsvik, head of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), said that she expects wages to increase next year but tempered expectations somewhat.

“We won’t negotiate ourselves out of the factory door (with unreasonable demands), so we must make sure that we have a wage development that means other countries around us do not out-compete us,” she told NRK.

“If we can stick to that responsibility, our members must also get their share of the profits that are created in the business world,” Følsvik added.

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WORK PERMITS

Why your Norwegian work permit application might be rejected and how to avoid it

Norway is an attractive proposition for workers from all over the globe. However, some job hunters will need a residence permit for employees to move to the country. The UDI has revealed to The Local the most common reasons applications are rejected. 

Why your Norwegian work permit application might be rejected and how to avoid it

Whether it’s the high salaries, work-life balance, or generous benefits, people from all over the world are lured to Norway for work. 

Last year, more than 21,000 people moved to Norway for work, according to statistics from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). 

Of these, 7,348 were granted residence permits for work, while the rest were EEA nationals, which meant they didn’t need a work permit. 

To be granted a residence permit for work, you’ll most likely need to have been offered a job first, and the type of permit you apply for will depend on your line of work. You must meet several other requirements to be given a residence permit, such as a minimum salary or a set number of contracted hours. 

Unfortunately, not everyone who applies for a work permit is successful. And as an application fee is involved, it would be handy to know the most common reasons for applications being turned down so you can take steps to avoid them. 

Luckily, the UDI has provided The Local with the most common reasons for applications being denied. 

READ ALSO: How many people move to Norway for work, and where do they come from?

Skilled workers

The skilled worker permit was the type of residence card that was most commonly granted in 2021. Over half of the permits issued to those wanting to live and work in Norway were for skilled employees. 

According to the UDI, one of the most common reasons why applications for skilled workers are rejected is because they do not have the relevant qualifications. 

Typically, the qualifications required for a skilled worker visa are a degree or vocational training of at least three years at the upper secondary level for example, if you have trained or undergone an apprenticeship as a carpenter. For those with vocational qualifications, there must be a corresponding course in Norway. 

Your application may be rebuffed if you have a vocational qualification that isn’t offered at upper secondary school level in Norway. Additionally, if you are applying for a skilled worker permit, the job must be relevant to your skills.

Workers can also prove they are skilled through work experience and have obtained special qualifications gained through employment. However, the criteria for this are much stricter, and the UDI warns that many of these applications are rejected.

In Norway, there are many professions which are regulated. This means special qualifications and training are required to work in these fields. In some cases, you will need to have your qualifications approved to be eligible to work in them.

For example, electricians must get approval from the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection to work in the country. If you have a degree you can also have it verified too.  

Therefore it is imperative to ensure that you meet the qualification requirements. One way of doing this is to liaise with the employer that has offered you a job. You can also contact the UDI before applying to clear up the requirements and see if you meet them, or work with an immigration lawyer. 

You can read about the other requirements for applying for a skilled worker visa here

Seasonal workers 

There is also a permit available for seasonal workers, which is awarded to those performing a job that can only be done at certain times of the year. 

Applications for these permits are most commonly turned down because the UDI feels that the requirements for the job contract are not met. 

To be granted a seasonal worker permit, the job must be for seasonal work or as a holiday stand-in, and the pay and working conditions must not be poorer than what is considered normal in Norway. 

Furthermore, the offer must be for full-time work. A full-time job in Norway is one which has 37.5 hours in a standard working week. 

You can read more specifically about seasonal worker residence cards here

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