A new project had its kick-off meeting in the UArctic congress 2018 at the beginning of September in Oulu. A new innovative network is created with focus on the availability and resources of Human Resources between the area of Arctic Five Universities.

The removal of the highly skilled workforce from the Arctic areas weakens future prospects for development. Research and innovation and the related expertise as well as socially sustainable HR processes are the key elements to develop industries and public services in these areas.

Universities of Oulu, Luleå and Tromsø search solutions together to further the placement of university graduates for the Nordic labour market and to support the remigration of academically educated people to the region. The aim of this project is to slow this negative development trend in these regions. Interaction is promoted between the academic workforce and area labour markets with the development of higher education, university graduates and companies, more intensive cross-border networking and the development of flexible communication.

In the so-called Arctic Five universities, there is a strong and still highly evolving information and communications technology (ICT) sector, where there is also a need for expertise in the social and human sciences. During the project, information is collected regarding the needs of the region’s employers and the labour force to develop working life in a socially sustainable and responsible way.

The results of the project, such as an increased awareness of job vacancies in the Nordic labour market, will benefit academically educated job seekers, employers and employment agencies in the region, as well as people who plan to remigrate. More news are to come by following UArctic events and final results will be disseminated in conference in Iceland 2020.

These current challenges to the mobility of an academic labour force are tackled by a multidisciplinary project team of experts from the fields of gender equality, distance-spanning technology, northern regional development and science policy.

The project is coordinated by the gender studies department from the University of Oulu who have worked on research projects on gender equality and gender segregation. From Luleå's Technical University, the Faculty of Business, Technology and Social Sciences, and the Center for Distance-Spanning Technology are involved with the project. Tromsø University has the expertise in Northern Studies.

Academic (Un)employment and Mobility in the Arctic North – A Joint Socially Responsible Approach is a two-year project funded by the European Regional Development Fund (Interreg Nord) between August 2018 and September 2020.

Contact information:
Mervi Heikkinen, Project Manager, University of Oulu, mervi.heikkinen@oulu.fi
Saila Piippola, Project Manager, Luleå University of Technology, saila.piippola@ltu.se
Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen, Professor, University of Tromsø, rasmus.bertelsen@uit.no

For more information, visit project website.