Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 341: Recruitment of scarce competences to rural regions: Policies to promote recruitment.

Kristina Nyström ()
Additional contact information
Kristina Nyström: The Ratio Institute, Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper studies the perceived difficulty of recruiting scarce competences to rural regions. Furthermore, the role of policy in facilitating and enhancing recruitment to and better skills matching in rural regions is discussed. Based on a survey targeted to the business sections in Swedish municipalities, the results show that recruitment is perceived to be difficult in both rural and non-rural regions. However, recruitment problems in the public sector are more pronounced in rural municipalities. Nevertheless, recruitment to the public and business sectors are perceived to be equally difficult in rural regions. Both rural municipalities and non-rural municipalities state that the difficulty of recruiting the right skills results in a lack of skills matching and constitutes an obstacle to growth. Which policies can help remedy recruitment problems in rural regions? The pecuniary incentive of writing off student debt is perceived to be the most promising policy, but respondents also believe that non-pecuniary support such as relocation support for accompanying persons and tandem recruitment should be implemented to a greater extent. Finally, the need for flexibility and policies that can be adapted to the regional demand for labour are stressed. This regards for example the adaption of education programmes to local needs and rules and regulations.

Keywords: Recruitment; skills matching; rural development; regional policy

JEL-codes: R23; R58

22 pages, December 10, 2020

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