Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Immigrants fight for jobs in Norway

Nina Berglund:

Cesar Chavez was a music teacher in Mexico. Now he's washing dishes in Oslo, but glad to have the work

The job market in Norway reportedly has improved, but there's huge demand for jobs that in turn don't demand much in the way of Norwegian qualifications. Warehouse and washing jobs can attract hundreds of applicants.

The vast majority of applicants are immigrants who face the biggest hurdles finding work in Norway, even when they speak fluent Norwegian.

Many of those applying for jobs as dishwashers in restaurants or as cleaning personnel in offices are educated as lawyers, doctors and engineers in their homelands, reports newspaper Aftenposten Aften.

Every cleaning company the newspaper contacted said they had long lists of applicants. At Aftenposten itself, demand is high for jobs delivering the paper.

"There is strong competition for these jobs," said Dyveke Hanza of state employment agency Aetat. "Unskilled workers aren't seeing any upswing in the labour market."

Cesar Chavez, who came to Norway with his Norwegian wife, was a musician and music teacher in Mexico. Now he's thrilled to "finally" have secured a job washing dishes at a restaurant at Oslo's waterfront complex Aker Brygge.

"I feel very lucky to have this job," Chavez told Aftenposten. He beat out 200 other applicants for the job, which had been advertised for just three days on Aetat's web site.

"I have applied for all kinds of jobs, with no luck," Chavez said. "I began to be very depressed because I never got a positive answer."

He's not the only one. Aftenposten's English news service has received many letters from immigrants and would-be immigrants to Norway who describe the difficulties they're having, or had, looking for work.

One software engineer from the US gave up, after more than 60 interviews with Norwegian firms, and moved back to the US with his Norwegian wife. Another man returned to Ontario, Canada with his wife after failing to find any work in Norway as well, and says he's still bitter about the experience.

Why the Norwegians allow immigrants to move to Norway when they apparently don't have enough jobs for them amazes me. I guess Norwegian businessmen feel that this is the best way to keep wages from rising.


At 6:18 PM, Blogger hoss_tagge said...

Not only is this immigration policy bad for Norwegians, in that it reduces wages for blue-collar Norskies, it is also decimating the country of origin of immigrants. That is, those(supposedly...) doctors and lawyers that leave third world nations are the very people that hold the best hope for improving conditions in these poor nations. This is yet another way in which today's wave of immigration to the industrialized nations as a classic "lose-lose" policy.

At 6:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the lefties always claim that immigration "benefits" the host nation!

At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

doctors and lawyers that leave third world nations are the very people that hold the best hope for improving conditions in these poor nations

Of course, that all depends on how many of these "doctors and lawyers" really are doctors and lawyers!

At 12:05 PM, Blogger hoss_tagge said...

Anonymous's skepticism is well founded. Oh yeah, all those third worlders are so "highly educated" in their home nations. At what institutes in these third world nations did they receive their education? If they were educated as, say, a competent nuclear physicist in the Sudan or other similar academic bastion of the Third World, they would likely find employment quickly in the U.S., as employers would be falling all over each other to hire them in a quest to increase their "diversity." Of course the notion that there are reliable institutes of higher learning in such countries is deeply suspect; if such institutes existed, why are these countries such miserable places that everyone seems to want to leave?

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It must be stated that almost all (I would imagine) of the immigrants admitted to Norway are not white, and one reason they are granted permission to stay is that they will 'diversify' the nation -- I assure you, the view that 'diversity' and 'multiculturalism' are in and of themselves a good thing is far from discredited. Because to argue against it you must bring up race/ethnicity, and this is still very difficult to do acceptably in any context.

Logic and economic issues aside.

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