Greenland faces an exciting future with new airports, increasing tourism, international investments and a central geopolitical position. But if Greenland is to be able to keep up with the development, we need to be able to attract labour. As of now, many businesses face a difficult dilemma, where they may be forced to scale down, despite a high level of activity.
Market dynamics have always been low in Greenland and we have therefore been dependent on both local and international labour for many years. For this reason, it is imperative that we maintain focus on how to attract labour and offer a stable framework, as the lack of labour is a barrier for growth.
In 2020 and 2021, Greenland Business Association conducted a survey among our members, showing that all sectors experience a labour shortage of around 600 people. But the real shortage is likely much higher and will increase in the future. This applies to both academics and trained staff, but also unskilled positions that are difficult to fill.
The Greenlandic economy rests on fisheries, tourism, minerals, land based business and of courde the block grant from Denmark. But we hope that both mineral extraction and tourism will experience an increase in the coming years because of globalisation and the improved accessibility following the completion of new airports in Nuuk, Ilulissat and Qaqortoq.
Greenland Business Association tries to contribute to increasing the labour force through, for instance, participation in conventions as well as cooperation with different institutions in Denmark, including student associations and North Atlantic Houses, in order to convince more potential candidates to consider a career in Greenland.
We are happy to take responsibility and we therefore put great effort into information on opportunities in Greenland, but it is important that young Greenlanders, who have chosen to go abroad for educational purposes do not feel a personal responsibility for securing our access to labour. We encourage them to go abroad, but not to return unless thet want to.
Their reason for going abroad should be to do something that will benefit themselves so they can develop and get valuable experience. If and when they decide to return home to Greenland and utilise their experience, they would then be most welcome, as Greenland needs both academics, craftsmen, untrained labour and entrepreneurs.