This report dives into the perspectives of Nordic employers on hiring low-skilled immigrants. Its objective is to uncover both opportunities and challenges faced by employers and to explore potential solutions for a more inclusive recruitment.
The Nordic Region faces significant challenges in labour market participation, with a notable gap between native-born individuals and migrants, particularly affecting women, those with lower education levels, and non-EU citizens. Paradoxically, the region is at the same time grappling with severe labour shortages across various sectors.
This report was produced in close collaboration with the Nordic Welfare Centre as part of the Nordic Programme for Integration of Immigrants. It aims to inspire Nordic employers, staffing companies, and public-sector and civil society organizations to collaborate on creating inclusive solutions for the labour market.
Existing research predominantly focuses on individual-level obstacles faced by migrants, such as limited language skills, low education, and a lack of work experience in the host country. This study seeks to shift the spotlight onto the role and responsibility of employers in fostering the successful integration of immigrants into the labour markets.
Employers participating in this study express a belief that the long-term benefits of hiring immigrants outweigh the initial challenges. However, obstacles exist, ranging from structural and organizational barriers to individual challenges like language proficiency. Success is attributed to diversity management, committed leadership and collaboration with public-sector entities and third-sector actors.
The literature review and interviews reveal that employers are driven by the need to address labour shortages, especially in sectors like healthcare and hospitality. The benefits of hiring immigrants include a diverse workforce, improved productivity, and positive community impact.
The findings in this report underscore the commitment of many employers to instigate positive change. Their motivations extend beyond mere workforce gap filling, reflecting a desire to contribute positively to the local community.