Already at the first meeting, in the car trip from the airport to the community center, the refugees are asked what they would like to work with and how they can contribute to their new home.
Most refugees in Nærøy are working or studying after completing two years of introduction program. When the municipality is cooperating with business in language training in companies, the goal is a future permanent job for the participant. The municipality is the employer, and is requiring progression. The result is that each refugee is given better chances to succeed.
Through cooperation with companies in the region, other public bodies and voluntary organisations, the municipality engaged in skills, employment, housing and the immigrants´ social life.
Efficient and close to the power
- The good feedback we get, confirms that early and efficient clarification is good. From the very first day we have expectations to every single refugee, says Lars Fredrik Mørch, head of unit in the immigration service. Nærøy has good experience placing the immigration service directly under the chief administrative officer, and further organising adult education and refugee services in the same unit (immigration service). Then it´s easier to workefficiently towards a common goal.
• Strategic business plan is a useful tool for the immigration service in their work of qualifying refugees.
• Mentoring and wage subsidies. The municipality is using Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) program aimed at both every single refugee and business life in general. Mentoring program combined with working practice and wage subsidies, contribute to a more efficient municipality. The municipality contributes with the mentoring program and introductory wage to the person in working practice in the company, until the person can contribute with wealth creation.
• Norwegian course in business. Municipalities cooperate with companies in the region, and offer language training as a part of the working day.
• Trainee companies use their experiences from the apprenticeship scheme when refugees are under training. These companies contribute to qualifying immigrants to permanent jobs in their own or other companies in the marine industry in the region. Moen Marin is a company that has completed a welding course for refugees. Three out of nine participants got permanent jobs after the training. The course was located in the company´s production hall and the participants got to know the working life and quickly became a part of the community.
• Steps is a new project to get minority language refugees/immigrants faster into education and work. Steps will map entrained expertise and qualify to the labour market in the region Ytre Namdal. The project is developing a new working method for cooperation and coordination between municipalities, NAV, businesses and high schools in the region. Volunteerism is also included as a resource. Growth businesses are testing entrained expertise. Training is tailored for the individual pupil. Steps is using the digital tool called Dokker to document the education.
Moen Marin Service is rigged to accommodate future new employees who need skills and language training. The company has 70 employees, 16 are refugees or immigrant workers. Marit Måøy Holm, HR manager in Moen Marin Service:
- The success factors are due to the municipality and the industry manage to balance the economical costs associated with training, and also because the immigration service has a close cooperation with the business life.
Goals for the region 2025
• 1000 new jobs
• Double the food production
• 2000 more residents
Remarks from research
• Training in company is considered as one of the most important instruments to get immigrants into work. Established systems such as language practice, working practice, apprenticeship, job training and wage grants ought to be used in a larger scale.
• Political initiatives and new ways to cooperate both locally and regionally, are often necessary to increase employment among immigrants. This involves more facilitation, new instruments and also a way to see the work as a part of community development.
• Many municipalities are unable to offer education that is adapted to the refugees and the local labour market.
• Immigrant women in Norway have significantly lower employment rates than men with a similar education. The employment of women are higher in the rural areas than in the central areas. This is the reverse of Norwegian women.
• In Norwegian municipalities in rural and peripheral areas, the amount of immigrants with higher education are larger than the rest of the population.
Source: Sysselsetting av innvandrere – regionale muligheter og barrierer for inkludering.