Employers in Norway’s fishing and seafood sector are worried about being able to get enough workers through the country’s long winter months.
Businesses are hoping that the 195,000 Norwegians currently on the unemployment register or looking for work can help to fill the gap, as well as reduce the risk of Covid infected people coming in from abroad.
Labour and Social affairs minister Henrik Asheim, Fisheries and Seafood Minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen and Hans Christian Holte, director of NAV which looks after employment issues, have just met with industry leaders in a bid to solve the problem.
They included representatives from the employers’ organisation, Seafood Norway, and Leroy Seafood, which is not only one of the country’s main fish farming companies, but also operates a large trawler fleet.
A statement issued after the meeting said: “It is extremely important that we now use Norwegian labour as far as possible.”
Labour Minister Asheim added: “The use of domestic labour instead of foreign workers will also reduce the risk of import infection.”
They said it was very important that people seeking work take advantage of the opportunities and help on offer, which could include travel and relocation expenses.
Concern was also expressed about the risk of infections brought in by foreigners looking for work.
The government has decided to introduce a travel registration system. This means that those who want to cross the Norwegian border must register information about – among other things – name, contact information, quarantine location and employer if relevant.
Police also plan to tighten controls at borders in the north of the country.
The statement added: “Those who come to Norway to work will be allowed to come in, but the police want to check that those who come meet the entry conditions, and have plans for how to implement the quarantine.”