Norwegian banking and insurance company Storebrand officially launched its brand new training centre in Vilnius.
"Storebrand" mokymo centro atidarymas
© Bendrovės archyvas

The firm, which has had operations in Lithuania since 2007, has invested around EUR 290,000 in the new 550 square meter centre. Any new specialists that Storebrand recruits receive 6 months of language tuition in either Norwegian or Swedish before they begin work, and the new centre has the facilities for training up to 45 employees simultaneously, Lithuania's foreign investment development agency Invest Lithuania reports.

Scandinavian companies are increasingly choosing Vilnius as a location for their service centres.

Ole Rikard Ronning, who has been the division manager of Storebrand in Lithuania since the beginning of the year, explained that they need Swedish and Norwegian-speaking specialists because the company provides services to customers in Norway and Sweden and manages Scandinavian pension funds.

In total, Storebrand employs 2,200 people, with 350 of these working in Lithuania, a figure that is going to increase to 400 by the end of this year.

In 2013, the company recruited 96 young professionals to join its Vilnius team; 56 of them were taught Norwegian and 40 learned Swedish. Since 2007, Storebrand Baltic has provided Scandinavian language classes for about 400 employees.

"The number of employees has increased 2.5 times in just a couple of years. And by the end of this year we expect to have 400 professionals working here, hence the need to invest in our new training centre," said Ronning.

According to Ole Rikard Ronning, of the service centres in Lithuania, about 50 percent provide services in one of the Scandinavian languages. Scandinavian companies are increasingly choosing Vilnius as a location for their service centres. For example, the Swedish banking and insurance company Skandia plans to hire 70 specialists for its new centre this year.

Ronning also suggested that a possibility in the future might be the formation of a Scandinavian investors association, where investors could meet to discuss and resolve challenges together.

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