Another European country that seeks to deploy overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is Norway. The said country has high demand for Filipino nurses and other professional and skilled workers such as engineers, hotel workers and IT specialists.
However this good news has a downside because the language barrier prevents massive recruitment and deployment of OFWs in Norway. Most employers from Norway prefer foreign workers who can communicate with their native language (Norwegian).
According to Rizalina Galiza Jenssen, the only person authorized to recruit OFWs for Norway, she was only able to send 289 Filipino nurses to Norway in the last seven years. All of them completed a six-month course on Norwegian language. Jenssen is married to a Norwegian and has been living in Norway for 28 years.
To help applicants, Jensen established a small school that offers a course in Norwegian language in Ilocos Norte, her native province. Jenssen said, “A total of USD 6,000 will be paid out by each recruit but only after the worker gets his or her first salary.”
Upon arriving in Norway, newly hired OFWs still need to go though an advanced Norwegian course. The additional tutorial course usually lasts for a month and fees are included in the expenses.
Recently, Jenssen was able to recruit 17 new nurses. The hired nurses are set to work in different nursing homes in Norway. The starting salary is USD 3000 a month.
Filipino nurses who are hired in Norway and have brought their families there consider it a dream come true. Even if Oslo, the capital of Norway tops the list of cities with the highest cost of living, residents enjoy various benefits. Victoria Bataclan, Philippine’s Ambassador to Norway seeks to create a bilateral agreement between Norway and the Philippines. If the agreement pushes through, the Ambassador will lobby for a national learning center of Norwegian culture in the Philippines.