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Construction industry

EURES Oslo March 2004

Short description of the industry and the labour market
In 2002, the construction market comprised about 150 billion NOK: 31% within the housing sector,26% within infrastructural projects, and 43% within industry building. The labour force within this sector included about 157 000 people. The construction industry is important for the country, and functions is a good indicator of the situation on general labour market as well, the need for labour force is variable.

In february 2004, the situation is considered to be stabilised, after some months with increasing unemployment (5% higher unemployment than in January 2003). 7% of the construction labour force are now unemployed.

For the time being there are 2 major projects going on:

-Ormen Lange:visit www.ormenlange.com/en for general information, and

-Snøhvit (www.snohvit.com).

For vacancies and application form please check www.aetat.no.

The construction industry is generally looking for highly skilled personnel, from workers with current professionnal certificates (fagbrev) to diplomed technicians/ingineers (ingeniør/sivil ingeniør). These demands are explained by the fact that there is a high focus on safety aspects and furthermore, general quality control measures which are being implemented.

Language proficiency:
The working language in the construction industry is Norwegian though many Norwegians speak English as well. However, there is a fundamental difference between being a tourist in Norway, speaking english, and working in Norway every day.

Possession of the norwegian language will of course make your integration in Norway easier and better.

How to find jobs
The Norwegian Employment Service has a data base containing all published vacancies (www.aetat.no). General information about working and living in Norway is also available on www.eures.no. For access to the abovementioned vacancies via telephone, you should call the "Job line" ("Grønn linje): +47 800 33 166 (from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm).

In the yellow pages http://www.gulesider.no you will find names and addresses of relevant companies. Many companies have their own homepages and some publish their vacancies directly onto the Internet site.

In Norway, there is no single legal minimum salary, available for all branches and professions.

But organisations (employers and unions) have negotiations reguarly where wages are discussed. The main result is a wages agreements (tariffavtale), where member companies commit themselves to pay wages according to agreements achieved between the parties. THis could be regarded as a minimum.

Within the construction industry, you will very often find a system where your pay is  related to the above mentionned wages agreement (tariff avtalen). In addition to these wages you can receive a gratification related to your actual production (akkord).

It is difficult to give reliable and precise information about wages, but the norwegian statistic office (www.ssb.no) mentionned that the overall average salary in the construction industry was of 307 800 NOK (2001, approximately 36 200 Euros, pr year and before taxes).

Please consider the following as well
It is important for you to get in contact with serious companies, where activities are run in accordance with the Norwegian legislation. There are regulations about working hours, salaries, insurance, etc. The Norwegian authority which deals with these questions is the Norwegian Labor Inspection (Arbeidstilsynet- www.arbeidstilsynet.no).

In Norway, trade unions have an important role in various fields. You may wish to contact them - one of the most important in the construction industry is Fellesforbundet (www.fellesforbundet.no).

Useful internet sites:

www.arkitektur.no : architects
www.npa.no : architects
www.bnl.no : construction
www.ebanett.no : construction

www.afag.no: architects
www.nif.no : engineers (5 years)
www.nito.no: engineers (3 years)
www.fellesforbundet.no : skilled workers
www.bygning.no: skilled workers (Oslo)

www.arbeidstilsynet.no : Labour Inspection
www.ssb.no :statistics
www.gulesider.no: Yellow pages
www.norge.no: about Norway
www.aetat.no: Norwegian Public Employment Service

Utskriftsvennlig versjon

Aetat (c) 2003