International trainee applicants
More than 3,500 applications have been received for Statoil's 50 advertised trainee positions, and over half of them come from countries outside Scandinavia.
The increase in the number of non-Scandinavian applicants is staggering. Only eight per cent of applicants came from outside Scandinavia in 2004, and this figure rose to 20 per cent in 2005.
"This shows that Statoil is regarded as an interesting company to work for also by non-Scandinavians," comments Nickey Berg, vice president for learning solutions in corporate human resources (P&O).
When the application deadline expired in mid-February, around 3,500 applications had been received from 2,147 applicants.
Women account for 38 per cent of the applications, which also marks an increase – from 32 per cent in 2004 and 37 per cent in 2005.
The trainee programme is aimed at candidates with a master's degree and up to two years' working experience. The objective of the programme is to accelerate the development of young and able employees to secure the group's long-term need for expertise.
This year's applicants have varying qualifications, according to Ms Berg.
Statoil's trainee programme is, and always has been, very popular. It was voted the most popular among Norwegian students in the Universum Graduate Survey as recently as 2005.
"However, we have to compete to get the best candidates," says Ms Berg. "The trainee positions are announced at the same time as many other companies are looking for new employees, and that is a challenge."
She emphasises that the programme is not the only way to Statoil for graduates. Most of the group's new employees have applied for regular positions. Some are also recruited directly from universities and colleges.
In the Universum Graduate Survey, Statoil has been voted the most attractive employer nine years in a row among Norwegian technology students, and four years in a row among economics students. For the last three years, the group has also been voted the most attractive employer among people with professional experience.
"We have a strong position in Norway," comments Ms Berg. "The challenge is to take this advantage abroad."