OXLO Business Charter
OXLO Business Charter was launched at the Oslo 2013 Global Mobility Forum, by Hallstein Bjercke, Vice Mayor for Cultural Affairs and Business Development. The Charter creates a forum and a network for collaboration between the city and the business community, making migrants visible as a resource for business and economic growth.
The charter and the seminars of the OXLO Breakfast Club are open to participation from business, universities and colleges, civil society and the public sector. Companies and others that join the charter get access to knowledge about intercultural recruitment, diversity management, welcome services and inclusive work environment.
Migration of competence
The launch of the Charter was a response to needs expressed by the Oslo business community. The Norwegian economy stops without migrants. In 2013 the Oslo Chamber of Commerce published a report on migration of competence and knowledge to Oslo and Norway, asking for a forum for collaboration between companies, business associations, educational institutions and local authorities.
Networks are important to migrants of competence. The OXLO charter and its network of stakeholders enhance cooperation to foster social integration. In 2013, some 20 000 people immigrated to Oslo, mainly from Europe. Half of them came for work, one in eight came to study, and most of the others joined a husband or a wife. Jobs and the opportunity to earn a living draws migrants to Oslo. As the Chamber points out in its report, though, it is the soft aspects of tolerance and the interculturality of city life that make people stay. The sense of belonging to Oslo depends in the long run on the social environment at work, the opportunity to join sport or cultural activities, and the happiness of spouse and children.
1500 international students and academics attended the Oslo 2013 Global Talent Career Fair. Few of them have job experience from Norway or contacts with employers in Oslo, and 7 out of 10 leave the city for opportunities elsewhere after finishing their studies.
The city will in 2014 explore stakeholder interest in creating JobMatch Oslo, inspired by the Copenhagen Career Program. JobMatch Oslo is to be a network matching migrants who have come to Oslo to work or study, and mentors from the business community, the municipality and civil society.
The city itself pilots the OXLO internship program, where master students get mentors in the municipality and the opportunity for short-term internship and project assignments during their study
A Welcoming City
The charter is operated by the city government and its regional development agency, Oslo Business Region, as part of city international profiling.
The OXLO Breakfast Club is a forum for discussing solutions to common challenges of diversity. The topic of the first seminar of 2014 was learning Norwegian and the establishment of joint forum for providers of Norwegian courses. The next seminar in May will discuss corporate business responsibility and cooperation between business and city in employment schemes. A planned meeting in April invites business leaders and leaders from sport and culture to discuss welcome programs for new migrants.