New report: Up to one in three people in Norway will have to work in health and care in 2060

Jan Tore SannerPhoto: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB

According to the Norwegian government’s new perspective report, the need for labor in health and care could grow by almost 260,000 man-hours by 2060.

The report will be presented on Friday, but Minister of Finance Jan Tore Sanner (H) has already shared some of the main findings with the news bureau NTB.

* If a small improvement in quality is assumed in the years to come, according to Statistics Norway (SSB) projections, there will be a need for 110,000 more man-hours in health and care in 2035.

* In 2060, there will be a need for almost 260,000 more man-hours.

“If you use this as a basis, you will go from every eighth employee working in the health and care sector today to every third person having to do so in 2060,” Sanner told NTB.

Aging population

The aging population is the main driver behind the increase.

“The population is changing as there are more elderly people, more of the oldest elderly people and fewer people of working age behind each pensioner,” Sanner explained.

At the same time, the growth in tax revenues will slow down, while the opportunity to use oil money will be reduced because oil revenues will decline. This puts Norway on a tight budget.

But even though it may seem overwhelming, Sanner believes it is entirely possible to secure enough labor also in the future.

“Firstly, this shows that the health and care profession is a safe job. So young people who are wondering which education to go for will know that if they choose the health and care profession, it will be a safe job in the decades to come,” said Sanner.

Point two is related to reducing the need for health and care services. It can happen in several ways, Sanner believes. 

His hope is that the use of welfare technology will increase and that it will be possible for more elderly people to live at home longer. In addition, measures must be taken to strengthen public health.

“We must improve prevention. Through better public health, the need for care services and health services will also be reduced,” Sanner said.

Labor market flow  

The prediction in the report is that there will have to be a strong influx of labor from other sectors to health and care in the coming years. 

Part of the increased labor needs within health and care can also be covered by more people going from part-time to full-time.

The corona pandemic has caused the debate about the dependence on foreign labor in the health care system to flare up. 

But the report does not contain any forecasts for how the proportion of foreign workers will develop in the coming decades.

“It will largely depend on how well we succeed in educating our young people,” Sanner said.

Educating more people

The Minister of Finance said that one of the main strategies in the perspective report is that more young people must complete upper secondary school.

“The proportion of jobs that do not require formal education is declining sharply. We simply cannot afford for so many to leave upper secondary school without formal competence,” he said.

According to Sanner, there are still far too many young people who drop out of upper secondary school without a trade certificate or study qualifications.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayFinance

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