5 nya trender för att locka människor och kompetens till kommuner

Professor Dean Carson gästbloggar för 250 möjligheter. Nedan delar han med sig av sina erfarenheter från aktuell forskning kring befolkningsutveckling i glesbygd. Han 5 nyckelfaktorer som är viktiga att beakta.

”The northern inland had a population boom in the mid 20th century brought about by projects in ‘big’ industries like mining, energy, forestry, and transport. Since then, the population has declined as these projects ended. The new reality is a smaller population and demand for new types of competence. In attracting and keeping people with this competence, we need to think about five key issues:

1. Big industries used to build permanent towns near projects. By the middle of last century, those towns were only planned to be temporary. By the end of the century, many workers lived far away and just visited for work. In this century, some jobs will be done by computer programs operated by people who may never even visit. So we need new sources of people.

2. Big industries used to bring large groups of people to the region at the same time. Today, newcomers are much more likely to arrive as individuals or families. One doctor, five nurses, three teachers… We have to work with each individual and family to find out how to attract and keep them. An example is helping people find their own country house rather than simply offering another apartment in a large apartment building.

3. People are increasingly mobile. The average person moves home 10 or more times in their life. They change jobs 6 or 7 times. They even change careers. They will move here and move away. But we could attract them multiple times during their lives.

4. The population boom involved many more men than women, but women are now important for health and education and tourism and other services, and women are even becoming more involved in the big industries. We need to make sure that our region is ‘women friendly’.

5. During the boom, almost all newcomers were from other parts of Sweden. Recently, more newcomers come from other parts of the world. Some arrive with clear ideas of what they can do (such as tourism entrepreneurs from other parts of the EU), while some arrive looking for opportunities that they cannot yet describe (such as refugees). Both groups can probably contribute more, but again it requires individual attention to make this happen.

The key to success is to think about these trends and tomorrow. Aim higher in terms of what can be done here. Engage with people multiple times throughout their lives There are many success stories, but many more opportunities if we have a better understanding of who we can attract, and what they can contribute.”

Dean Carson
Professor, Demography and Growth Planning

Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University, Australien