Desire to live

Desire to live

October 14, 2008

Which qualities of a place make people want to move there to live? Norut Alta - Áltá is researching the desire to move to and keep living in a specific place and place development.

Most of Finnmark's municipalities want to create the desire to move to the municipality and keep living there, reduce the number of people leaving and attract new residents. Increased access to labour and competence is a driving force for growth in the county.

Moreover, it is important for the municipalities and companies that they manage to retain the competent labour they already have.


What makes a place attractive for competent employees? What does it take to retain qualified staff?

These are the issues Norut Alta is dealing with through the project "Place development, the desire to move to and keep living in a specific place and workforce in Finnmark: Joint strategies at a local level".

Previous studies show that attracting and retaining qualified staff is connected to what a place can offer. Cultural options, public and private services, recreational options and environment are important factors in addition to work-related challenges.

Energy County Finnmark

EnergyCounty Finnmark is one of VRI Finnmark's main areas of commitment. VRI is an abbreviation for the Norwegian name for regional research, development and innovation. Norut Alta's VRI project on place development is based on the challenges and labour requirements of three energy companies.

The three companies are:


  • Elkem Tana (Tana Municipality)
  • North Energy (Alta Municipality)
  • Kimek Offshore (Sør-Varanger Municipality)


The companies participating in the project envisage a growing need for manpower, in addition to being occupied with retaining their existing staff.

Company and municipality

The project wants to chart and analyse the companies' experiences with staff recruitment and the desire to move to and keep living in a specific place among staff. Which measures have the companies implemented to recruit and retain staff, and what result has this produced?

The municipalities' role regarding place development and workforce requirements will also be central.

To a major extent, the municipalities and business community have a common desire to draw attractive staff. However, industrial policies are not always in keeping with the local business community's actual requirements.

Labour from Russia

Growth and development in Finnmark is totally reliant on the recruitment of manpower from outside the county.

Russian labour has played a significant role in many Finnmark companies. Wages levels have previously been favourable for Russian workers. However, as wages rise in Russia, it can become more difficult to recruit Russian workers to Finnmark in the future.

Attractive places

So the aim of the project is not to select the most desirable place to live in Finnmark?

"No, as researchers we are moving at a totally different level," says Head of Project Vigdis Nygaard at Norut Alta. "We are looking for qualities that make places attractive. Through increased knowledge about these qualities, companies and municipalities can both learn to become more attractive and also learn from each other."

"The aim of the project is to contribute to increasing economic growth in Finnmark as a whole," she says. "Then we have earned by the knowledge about place development and the desire to move to and keep living in a specific place being shared in a way that benefits all parties."

Nygaard adds that the results will also be of interest to the rest of the country. The results from the project will be available in 2009.

Contact person: Research Scientist Vigdis Nygaard, Norut Alta