Navigating Careers Together

How do engineering unions in the Nordics enhance member experiences and adapt to the changing world of work?

In the heart of Oslo, representatives from engineering unions across the Nordics recently gathered for a transformative ANE Workshop. Their collective mission? To explore innovative ways to enhance member experiences and adapt strategies, ensuring they cater to the diverse stages of their members’ professional journeys.

Collaboration among these unions in the Nordic countries holds immense significance; their shared similarities and relatively high unionization rate create a unique synergy. However, it’s not without challenges. In a world that’s becoming increasingly digital, enticing young minds to see the value of unions, explaining the intricate Nordic model, and encouraging international employees to organize within unions pose their own set of hurdles.

Klaus Damlien, Member and Marketing Director, NITO

Ahead of this workshop, ANE had the privilege of catching up with the host of the workshop Klaus Damlien, NITO’s Member and Marketing Director to discuss how NITO keeps up-to-date with the evolving needs of Its members.

Striking the balance

Klaus emphasized the delicate balance that NITO, alongside sister organizations in the Nordic, strives to maintain between traditional in-person engagement and innovative digital platforms.

“The significance of physical meeting spaces endures. We are committed to providing spaces where individuals can convene, connect, and learn.” However, the unions recognize that not everyone can attend in-person events, which is where their innovative digital platforms come into play.

“In the absence of a local union representative, we offer digital representatives,” Klaus notes. “We align with the convenience of chatbots and other digital services that have become familiar to people, services that you’ll also find within NITO.”

Adapting to market shifts

NITO, along with its Nordic counterparts, actively monitors shifts in the job market. As Klaus Damlien puts it, “NITO facilitates ongoing education and training programs for their members, helping them adapt to the evolving needs of society.” With cybersecurity’s growing importance, skilled IT engineers are in demand. Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing engineering practices. The pandemic underscored the crucial role of biomedical engineers and medical technical personnel, emphasizing the need for expertise in these fields.

The unions are unwavering in their commitment, offering skill enhancement opportunities and advocating for increased study positions, ensuring their members are well-prepared for the future. Klaus adds, “We ensure our members are equipped with the skills required to thrive in a constantly evolving professional landscape.”

Promoting diversity and sustainability

Only 33% of STEM graduates in the Nordics are women and attracting more women to the STEM sector is a top priority in the EU acknowledging the importance of gender equality for economic growth and successful digital transitions.

NITO, together with its fellow Nordic unions, recognizes the importance of fostering diversity and sustainability in working life. As Klaus emphasizes, “By attracting more women to STEM fields, we can tap into a vast pool of talent, ensuring a richer, more inclusive future for various industries and for Norway as a whole.”

In conclusion, the collaborative spirit of Nordic engineering unions is a testament to their commitment to members and the dynamic world of work. By navigating the digital frontier with innovation, preserving the essence of tradition, and actively preparing members for tomorrow, these unions are pioneers of positive change.