“A bundle of belongings isn't the only thing a refugee brings to their new country. Einstein was a refugee.” - UNHCR
Picture a couple. They’ve moved to a country thousands of miles away from their own country. They’re educated, qualified, and experienced. All they need is an opportunity. Months have passed and there’s no interviews, no phone calls, just them and their odd jobs at odd hours. They do go on to have children. Years pass and those children do end up with better lives and better opportunities. What about the refugees, who are forced out of their homes and comfort zones because of war and persecution? Their incomparable psychological, emotional, and physical struggles alone require a separate article.
These scenarios are very real. These are just some of the challenges faced by thousands of displaced refugees or even of expats and trailing spouses - basically every immigrant currently in or packing for - Norway. Every immigrant, you ask? Yes. Every immigrant. Of course, each immigrant has a different set of challenges. Some overcome them with the slightest edge, while others are never able to.
According to statistics, Norway’s immigrant population has an unemployment rate of almost 34%. This number includes those between the ages of 20 and 66.
This is a huge problem for a few reasons:
A colossal missed opportunity for the Norwegian economy to fill up its labour market.
Immigrants aren’t integrating into the Norwegian society as fast as they could, to contribute to an inclusive culture and to feel a sense of belonging.
While many refugees or immigrants have shining educational qualifications, they’re usually given the cold shoulder. You’ll be surprised, we are too, that it’s 2020 and cultural barriers or stereotypes within the society are among the few reasons why. A missing professional or personal network and siloed services are other reasons that trail closes behind.
Also, why don’t their educational degrees from their home countries mean much to Norway? How does a refugee with nothing much other than the clothes on their backs, provide papers of their education? Can’t a competence test prove to be helpful in such situations? Since when did HR professionals turn into robots? These questions could take a long time to answer, and it's heartening to know that many of us have been trying to change things.
At Skillfugees, we want to bridge that gap and help employers tap into the pool of talent and skill that these refugees and immigrants possess. We aren’t just another recruitment platform, we’re a platform exclusively for migrants and refugees. We want to take them through this scary job-seeking journey by guiding them every step of the way.
Our process doesn’t just include the usual CV and application writing. Cultural workshops with experts, training sessions, networking opportunities, are just a few tools we want to equip our job-seekers with.
A job-seeker’s journey at Skillfugees, includes understanding and trying to adapt to the Norwegian work culture, as much as possible, while keeping the best parts of everybody’s personal culture alive. We believe in unleashing Norway’s untapped potential - the hidden talent that exists all around us.
We think outside the box to help you dip into a diversified talent pool
We look at the big picture so employers can benefit from the right talent
We look outward and find the right talent without bias and borders
For Norwegian companies that want to compete on a global stage, they need to take advantage of the skills refugees and migrants have to offer. According to a comprehensive report by McKinsey & Company, diversity matters not simply from humanity's standpoint, but also a financial one. You can read that report here.
These promising skilled candidates have the one thing that not many local residents can boast of having: a conviction and determination to start a new life.