Privatised government enterprises want a "Covid-19" discount and recruit aggressively. "Very unfortunate", according to the IKT Norge board members Øyvind Husby and Fredrik Syversen in an op-ed in Norwegian publication Finansavisen.
Private companies have paid dearly for closure in recent months. Companies are in the process of using up their financial reserves, and are weakened. So it is extra painful that more and more of IKT Norge members report that some public enterprises are pushing prices, overbid salaries and refuse to use newly hired consultants in the middle of a pandemic.
We are now seeing examples of public enterprises renegotiating agreements with expectations of a 'Covid-19" discount'. At the same time, they recruit employees, by offering secure public jobs and higher salaries than private companies are able to pay. It is very unfortunate that the public sector with tax money outperforms the private wage level in this way in the battle for talent.
As if that were not enough, several public purchasers demand that they only want consultants on their assignments with at least three years' work experience and who speak fluent Norwegian. The result may be that a generation of newcomers will be sitting on the bench.
Norway has an urgent need for more study places and better IT skills. An important player in securing IT expertise is the Norwegian IT consulting industry.
The consulting industry employs most graduates in technology. The consulting firms then spend large resources on providing newly graduated cutting-edge expertise, international experience, structured work methods and, not least, learning the needs of the various sectors for digital development. Along the way, they learn to develop services for NAV, the police, finance, health and in agriculture, to name a few. The public sector shows too little interest in giving talents and graduates an arena to develop in.
It is not known whether there is a lack of insight into what new graduates can provide in regards to technological competence, energy, creativity and progress. What we do know is that we must gather around measures, both we as private actors and the public sector, to ensure that our new graduates are not left standing on the platform.
Diversity in project teams is value creation for the companies and the individual employee, but also for society. Norway has the prerequisites to be among the world's best at utilizing digital solutions. We can strengthen the competitiveness of Norwegian business and industry, create new industrial adventures, and we can develop the world's best and most efficient public sector. But then the private and public sector must cooperate effectively, and the public sector must use its purchasing power to create innovation and strengthen Norway's long-term adaptability, Øyvind Husby (CEO IKT-Norge) and Fredrik Syversen (Strategy director IKT-Norge) conclude in their op-ed in Finansavisen.