September 18, 2018 / 1:21 PM / 3 months ago

Sweden's Vattenfall struggles to recruit enough engineers, technicians

OSLO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Sweden’s largest utility Vattenfall said on Tuesday it was struggling to find enough skilled staff to fill engineering and technical positions at power plants across Sweden.

Vattenfall, which employs around 20,000 people, is growing its operations while facing a wave of retirements, and needs to recruit some 1,000 employees to operate nuclear plants and other facilities.

“It’s hard to find... This in a time when there is a major shortage of skilled labour in a competitive market. For this reason, starting today, Vattenfall is carrying out a new recruitment campaign,” the company said in a statement.

Since 2014, Sweden’s overall rate of unemployment has fallen to 6.1 percent from 8.0 percent, while the number of private-sector jobs that went unfilled almost doubled, Statistics Sweden data showed.

Vattenfall is offering various positions, for instance engineers, project managers, service technicians and project planners, mainly for the nuclear power sector but also in distribution, maintenance, hydro power and wind power.

The staff shortage was not affecting power production, Vattenfall’s human resources chief Dag Svensson told Reuters. “We are recruiting to build long term competence.”

In March, Vattenfall said it would cut 1,500 jobs by 2020 in an effort to reduce costs, mostly support positions unrelated to the recruitment drive for skilled technicians and engineers, Svensson said. (Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos, editing by Terje Solsvik and Louise Heavens)

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