Nordic oil employs southern engineers


Portuguese engineers are very popular with Norwegian companies, satisfying the high demand for skilled workers. And EURES helps to link both sides.
The booming world wide oil exploration industry and the renown of Norwegian companies in this field have led to increased shortage of expert workers in the Nordic country. Norway needs to employ 10,000 highly trained engineers over the next five years and this impressive number of specialists cannot be provided by the national education system alone. Because of this Norwegian employers have recruited highly qualified work force from neighbouring countries during the last years. However, it has proved more and more difficult to make use of this traditional source of skilled labour and EURES Norway decided to look for workers in other European regions. This was the starting point for a successful cooperation with – amongst others – their Portuguese colleagues.
To promote job opportunities in Norway, EURES Portugal uses a wide range of information tools (Internet, SMS, ads in national newspapers). Particular attention has been given to recruitment at universities. Several information sessions were organised together with EURES Norway, the Portuguese Association of Engineers and the engineering schools in Lisbon and Porto. In addition, EURES Norway recently organised visits of Norwegian employers and employers’ organisations to Portugal. As a result, 17 Portuguese engineers were recruited for several companies located in Southern Norway.
One of those recently hired Portuguese specialists is 23year old Luis Moutinho, who lives and works in Norway since mid-April 2007.
To celebrate the start of his university studies, Luis decided in 2001 to go on Raildude through Europe. “I was totally fascinated by this experience”, said Luis who continued his European adventure as an Erasmus student in Germany, where he earned a degree in engineering. “I discovered that living outside my home country, meeting people from all over the world, and getting to know other cultures and ways of thinking is the most enriching experience that anyone can have.”
After graduation, Luis immediately found a position in Portugal, but his dream was nevertheless to go back abroad. When he saw a EURES job offer for engineers at his former university, he contacted Luisa Martins, Portuguese EURES Adviser, straight away. “I explained that I wished to work as engineer in a field where I could combine living with an international crowd with working in an innovative environment”, says the young man. “As for the recruitment, I have to say that EURES did an amazing job. The whole process was very well organised, simple and fast. My congratulations to all those who made it possible.”
Consequently, after some months and two interviews, Luis was proposed a contract in Stavanger as a steel structures design engineer with National Oilwell Norway, a company dealing with the design, manufacture and sale of equipment and components used in oil and gas drilling and production. “One of the main reasons why I moved to Norway was the unique opportunity of working for an international leading firm in the field of engineering. Moreover, I enjoy working with people from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Romania and Hungary. This mix of nationalities creates a unique experience and a very special working environment. Our sometimes different approaches and our various points of view always lead to better engineering solutions.”
Luis doesn’t know what the future will bring, but for now he is still enjoying living in Norway and getting to know better the local people and their culture. “I guess I will stay for another few years”, he says.
EURES keeps receiving very positive feedback from both Norwegian employers and Portuguese engineers. And very soon more skilled Portuguese workers will join their colleagues in Norway to start a new life experience.


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