Good news from Norsjö. Multinations Norsjö, a Facebook group established by Martine Westerlund in 2019 with the aim of helping people relocate from other countries, has been highly successful over the past two years. The group has provided valuable personal contacts both on social media and in person, assisting individuals with settling into the area.
Although the investment has been run as a project, which concludes at the end of March, the work does not stop here. Wednesday's final conference marked the beginning of work towards increased immigration in one form or another at Norsjö municipality's business office.
Municipal councilor Mikael Lindfors spoke about the faith in the future that the municipality now feels thanks to the gigantic industrial investments taking place in the region.
However, attracting people who want to live and work in Norsjö is a big challenge. Lindfors highlighted that it is not really a skills shortage, but a population shortage that needs to be addressed. Therefore, immigration is extremely important.
– It is not really a skills shortage but a population shortage that we should be talking about. There are too few people living in Norsjö, Malå and Sorsele for us to manage this. That is why immigration is extremely important, said Lindfors.
During the conference, participants highlighted the lengthy processing times for individuals seeking to relocate to Sweden to work or start a business, particularly for those outside the EU.
– That is the biggest concern. You don't know how long the Swedish Tax Agency's processing time is, and it takes time to open a bank account and arrange social security numbers and ID cards, said Martine Westerlund.
Despite the challenges, conference participants agreed that creating a welcoming community is essential to the success of attracting new residents.
– We have to make sure we host well, change our jargon and create meeting places, said Felicia Morén, Gold of Lapland, and this sentiment was shared by Andreas Lundin, HR manager at Grönbo:
– We must be open to other cultures and languages and involve association life, said Lundin.