Solberg happy about easier times in the oil industry counties

Erna SolbergErna Solberg visits Orre in Stavanger.Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB Scanpix

Prime Minister Erna Solberg is looking forward to fewer oil redundancies in Western Norway, but she cannot promise that the region has now fully recovered.

The oil industry crisis has hit many families in Rogaland hard in recent years. On Monday, the prime minister went home for lunch with one of them.

For Gunvald Gundersen and his family at Randaberg outside Stavanger, their life was turned on its head when he lost his job after 17 years in the oil industry before Christmas 2016. Solberg also visited the family one and a half years ago when everything looked very dark.

Today, Gundersen could invite her for lunch at the family’s brand new house and tell her about brighter times with a  new, permanent job in the events industry.

The Prime Minister was pleased about the good news for the father and his family.

“This shows that it can turn out well and that the experience gained from the oil industry can be used in completely different settings and in completely new types of jobs,” said Solberg.

The unemployment rate is decreasing

Recent unemployment figures from Statistics Norway also show that unemployment is now decreasing by 4.3 per cent respectively, and there are 4.7 per cent unemployed in Rogaland.

By comparison, unemployment in July last year was 5 percent and 5.2 percent in July, respectively.
– The bottom  has been reached now, and all arrows are pointing up again. It shows that the government’s measures have worked, says Solberg.

She also emphasizes that the challenges are not over for people in the traditional oil industry areas.

“We know that it will go up and down in the oil industry in the years to come. There are contracts that expire and we need more stable supplies of new oil industry projects.

According to figures from Norwegian oil and gas in 2016, another 12,000 jobs in the oil and gas industry were expected to disappear in 2016 and 2017, in addition to the 38,000 that had already disappeared at that time.

Solberg encourages people in Western Norway to be prepared for changes and to continue to upgrade their skills and expertise for the future.

-Nobody will be out-of-date 
During the tour on Monday, the Prime minister promised to carry out a new, great competency reforms if she can continue in Government after the election.

“The Right wants a society where everyone who needs it will get another chance. Therefore, we are now setting out a plan for a competency policy for the next period. We must ensure that the competency of each of us keeps pace with the development of new technology, automation and digitization. Nobody should find that they are out of date, ” said the Leader to NTB.

She points to numbers that show that about 400,000 Norwegians lack basic skills in reading. Even more people lack basic skills in numerical understanding, and a total of 800,000 lack basic IT skills.

The competence reform has been named ” The learning promise” and contains ten specific points. One of the main points is that all those who are out of work will be entitled to a basic skills mapping.

Another measure is a new and extended reward scheme for companies that want to invest in employees, and more support for training in basic skills.

The party leader started her four-day tour of Western Norway  in Bergen on Saturday, and will visit around 15 municipalities in Hordaland, Rogaland and Vest-Agder where she will finish the election canvassing in Dyreparken in Kristiansand on Tuesday.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today