We are so happy to feature Nikol who will present the project titled, Network for Work, at our event on March 18, 2018!  Read more about the project below:

Project Description

• Business need and business problem
There is a growing group of the so called trailing spouses – people who follow their partners abroad. These people are often highly educated professionals who leave their careers and social networks behind when they move to Norway for their partners’ job.
Without knowledge of the local language, with no professional network, and oftentimes with the burden of childcare on their shoulders, these people struggle to find ways back to the job market and society in general, in spite of their qualification and experience. The majority of trailing spouses are women and this phenomenon thus contributes to deeper structural inequality that still exists even in a highly progressive society such as the Norwegian one.
• Project objectives
Our project wants to help trailing spouses re-build their network that would enable them to use their skills, knowledge and experience in a position they are qualified for. We want to facilitate integration and inclusion of the trailing spouses while utilising their potential for the benefit of the local community and the society as a whole. We want to complement the integration arrangements offered through already existing schemes.
We want to help create networks and find paid and unpaid positions for the trailing spouses via engaging representatives from open-minded companies, organisations, and recruiters. We also want to organise lectures on work and non-work related topics, Norwegian language course, and provide a meeting place for those who want to get to know new people and share a coffee and chat.
Our aim is to build a day centre that will primarily cater to the needs of trailing spouses whose other obligations do not allow them to attend evening arrangements. An important aspect of the day centre concept is a baby-friendly environment that will enable parents attend events with their child should they need or prefer to.
• Benefits of completing the project and the project justification
The project will help trailing spouses find work placement corresponding to their qualification and experience. This will promote their better integration in the society. The project will also benefit companies and organisations by providing them access to an untapped pool of resources of skilled professionals. The Norwegian state will then benefit by acquiring additional tax payers.
• Project scope
The project aims to cater for the needs of trailing spouses with higher education (minimum high school diploma) who speak fluent English. The aim of the project is to open a day centre where trailing spouses can meet, attend lectures, events and courses, mostly during the daytime. Main focus of the project is to organise networking session that put the trailing spouses in touch with representatives from companies and organisations who can offer them paid or any other job-related activity or placement.
The project wants to supplement the public sector offer, helping people who do not qualify for integration support organised by state or local public institutions.

Why does this idea matter to you?

This idea is very close to my heart because I am a trailing spouse myself. I am basically trying to create what I would appreciate for myself: a place where educated, skilled, and experienced woman can find something that really helps her find a job, a place where one doesn’t only network with people in a similar situation (jobless, therefore can’t provide the network that helps one find a job), a place that holds interesting lectures and events during the day (because it influences the morale in a very negative way when one is a stay-at-home person with no purpose to every day other than housework). I am trying to create a place that will promote a sense of purpose and belonging for those who got uprooted supporting their partners.

How will you idea make Oslo a better place?

Trailing spouses will feel like they belong here, they will feel accepted in and by the Oslo society. The day centre will then provide a place to meet people with similar life experience, as well as with people who can help with job search.

How will you use the micro-grant funding to realize your concept?

I would use the money to rent a space, preferably an office, in a co-working place, for as long as the money would suffice. The point of my project is networking and co-working places offer just that by their very nature. At the same time they have short binding time so it would be very practical in the initial stage of the project where we will fine-tune the specifics of the project with regards to how much place we need, what kind of services, how the location fits the needs of the target group and the partners etc. Renting a space in a co-working place would enable us to start with the project sooner and provide a meeting place and a focus for all who want to participate.

How do I contact this project?

Facebook @NetworkforWork