Johan Henrik Andresen spoke to Dagsavisen last week about his concerns regardingthe lack of investment in technology and science. Andresen says Norway lacks thousands of engineers and asks the government to make a solid effort for knowledge economy and education.
Education Minister Kristin Halvorsen on the other side says Andresen is not updated and spreading old rumors.
– When it comes to engineering and science education, we are in a very good trend. There is a 55 percent increase in applications for engineering studies since 2005. So among young people, engineering studies are much more popular than before, says Halvorsen.
Andresen, who owns a number of companies through the family-owned industrial and financial group Ferd, had 11.1 billion NOK in assets last year. He is concerned that all great minds end up in the oil industry, and believes the oil nation of Norway should invest more in knowledge and technology to be competitive.
– Only a matter of time
– There is a huge delay in the development and education of different types of engineers with technical expertise, and there is only a matter of time before a serious incident happens due to lack of qualified people, says Andresen.
Halvorsen says the capacity of the engineering studies increases, as the interest from young people. She believes we are in a positive trend when it comes to recruiting young people.
– If the business sector itself is not updated about the positive development, they can spread negative attitudes about science and technology. We must work together to strengthen the positive results we have. The businesses make it sound like engineering studies are not attractive study programs even though they really are, says the Minister of Education, Kristen Halvorsen.