Trainee South is a regional trainee program that aims to attract, retain and develop highly skilled talent to the southern region of Norway.
Many European regions have been dealing with problems in retaining young professionals. This reinforces the STEM gender gap in that the talent pool is smaller, thereby making it harder to recruit women. This problem was also evident in the Agder region which was one of the main incentives when establishing Trainee South. Trainee South is a way of attracting and introducing young professionals to the opportunities in the region, which many young professionals might be unaware of. The Trainee program might also increase regional attractiveness for young professionals. In addition to widening the talent pool, thereby increasing the number of women to recruit, the trainee program ensures equal starting terms and includes a lot of the soft supporting tools that ensure women get a better start to their careers. The professionalized recruitment process ensures that talent is evaluated on skills and eliminates bias which often discriminates against women. Finally, not only focusing on women allows the GP to address several issues and be adopted by those not otherwise inclined to work on gender equality.
The main stakeholders are the companies participating in the trainee program. These are a mix of public and private companies, including regional authorities and academia. These are also the beneficiaries, in addition to the ripple effects that occur when a region gains a higher proportion of highly-skilled workers.
Human resources: The program is mainly run by one manager. Additionally, the program hires an external company to facilitate the recruitment process and the mentoring sessions.
Economic resources: The participating companies pay a participation fee, in addition to the trainee salary of any train
Evidence of success
- 161 trainees
- 50/50 gender balance
- 9/10 trainees with job offers within the region after ended trainee program
- 70% of trainees remain in the region.
- 25 trainees in the current portfolio
- 70 involved companies across 15 years
- Currently 40 involved companies from the region
Potential for learning or transfer
Trainee South has regional varieties that make it suitable for the Agder region. These varieties can be modified, and the Trainee Program can be adjusted to fit the needs of other regions with a different compilation of barriers and possibilities.
An important aspect of transferring the practice is also keeping in mind that Norway has a high awareness of gender issues. This entails that while gender is not highlighted as the main area of concern for the Norwegian program, this might be more necessary in other regions. The gender equality becomes maintained through a recruitment process with multiple actors involved, a high focus on skill, and a low threshold for alerting uncomfortable or discriminating incidents, the latter being a pivotal part of Norwegian society. The Gender Aspect might, therefore need more attention in other regions where gender awareness is not as developed, as well as the possibility of including more measures to facilitate female participation in the program.