Downsizing goal to be reached

December 6, 1999, 11:30 CET

The Statoil parent company will hit its target of downsizing the workforce by 1,600 work-years, split evenly between its own employees and contract staff.

More than 800 applications for voluntary redundancy or early retirement have been received, with several hundred coming in during the final few days before the deadline of 1 December.

That means another round of offering these packages will not be required. A final figure for accepted applications will be available in mid-December.

"This will help to strengthen our competitiveness and represents an important stage in our present improvement process," says chief executive Olav Fjell.

He adds that the outcome and the figures show that the organisation has seen and accepted the need for restructuring.

Expressing his gratification at reaching one of the objectives of this process, in that a sufficient number of employees have accepted a package, he says that this will make it easier to continue the reorganisation.

But Mr Fjell nevertheless emphasises that the need for improvement is continuous, with downsizing only a first step.

It will now be important to revitalise the organisation and concentrate on the areas and assignments which will be given priority by the group in future.

Kjølv E Egeland, senior vice president for human resources, says that getting the internal job market to function will be important in order to achieve a better match between tasks and available personnel.

Employees will need to adjust to fill possible vacancies, and internal redeployment could be necessary as part of this process.

Fulfilling the decision to phase out contract personnel will also be important in the time to come.