Skill demand


To build up knowledge, SMEs from Norway, Denmark, and Belgium were asked to fill out questionnaires about, what kind of skills companies in their respective countries need right now. 413 SMEs from Norway, Denmark, and Belgium have answered the questionnaires, and the data was collected in the spring and summer 2021. We have developed the different courses on the website on the basis of the SMEs' answers.

Generally seen across all the three countries, independence and adaptability – but also communication skills and problem solving – are the most important skills/competences to possess – both as an experienced employee in a firm and as a recent graduate, who is seeking employment. You can read more about the results from the questionnaires in the review and highlights below.

Highlights from the questionnaires

In figure 7, the Belgian, Norwegian, and Danish employers’ replies to the question about, which skills and competences, they find the most important among their employees, appear. To make the responses from all three countries comparable, we have taken the average scores of the companies’ responses.

Across the countries, ability to work independently, adaptability and problem solving are the most valued competences among the employees according to the employers in the three different countries. Conversely, knowledge of AI, E-commerce and video editing are the least important skills

Figure 7. Most important skills among employees. Norway, Belgium and Denmark

Table 1 shows the percentage distribution of the companies' responses to the question about, which competencies and skills they expect recent graduates to have when they hire them – in Belgium, Norway and Denmark respectively. Across all three countries ‘ability to work independently’ and ‘adaptability’ are the skills that the SMEs expect recent graduates to possess the most. Also communication skills and creativity are important skills to possess as a recent graduate.

However, Norway differs slightly from the two other countries in the table. For instance the Norwegian companies expect the recent graduates to possess skills such as ‘cultural competence’, ‘creating narratives’ and ‘social selling’. These skills are not as valued in Belgium and Denmark. In this regard, it must be noticed that only 14 Norwegian companies have answered the survey.

Table 1. Future competences and skills. Norway, Belgium and Denmark