“Many of our employees have come to Norway only recently and can practice their Norwegian at Stromma”
What are the big advantages to employing those who are new in the country or on the job market?
We get a bigger diversity, with many interesting people from different parts of the world, in different ages, with different sexual orientations and outlooks on life. For us, it is also an advantage to have a combination of languages. Ticket sales, bus and boat driving, handling of passengers are all tasks that can be done in English at Stromma. Many of our employees have come to Norway only recently and can practice their Norwegian at Stromma. To get a job as a bus driver in Norway, you need to speak Norwegian, but at Stromma you can practice that skill in a work environment, which we know is highly beneficial.
At Stromma, we want to hire with diversity in mind – from young people to those in their 50s and 60s – and employ those who might want to try something different and have valuable competencies for us. For example, we employ older captains that still meet the requirements and can help us out during the summer season. We also have employees that wish to work part-time or extra, maybe after their children have moved out and they have more time, or maybe because it can be hard to change jobs when you are at a certain age. We have this in mind also when we hire administrative staff members.
How do you reach people that are new on the job market or new in Norway?
There are of course many ways, but we have two main ones. The first is to have an open mind when several people have applied to a position. We have been open to bringing in people that do not necessarily have a fully relevant background but might have the motivation and interest in working at Stromma. For instance, younger people under the age of 18, have more difficulties getting their first job. They only need a chance and proper training, which we make sure that they get according to their needs. The second method we will utilize even more in the future is our collaboration with NAV, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration. In NAV’s network, there are both young people and adults that, for one reason or another, have fallen out of or not entered the job market and need to be given a chance.
What would you like to see in terms of action for Stromma to get even better in this area?
For our seasonal staff I would like us to be able to have operations that extend for a longer period during the year, after our main season. That way we could maintain employees. Another way is to collaborate with a company that operates during the other half of the year. Then some of our employees could continue to work within sightseeing, tourism or events during that company’s peak season and then come back to us in time for our peak season. Maybe we could create a platform for seasonal companies, where we can discuss recruitment and personnel issues. Many service industries are struggling to onboard personnel, maybe we could contribute to employees having a secure income during the entire year.
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