Vocational education and training in Norway


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Vocational training
Education policy



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education and
in Norway Cover and layout: Segno Associati, Italy Vocational education and training
in Norway
This monograph has been prepared by:
Halfdan Farstad
Leonardo da Vinci National Coordination Unit
for CEDEFOP — European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training
Project coordinators: Michael Adams, Reinhard Nöbauer
under the responsibility of Stavros Stavrou, Deputy Director
First edition, 1999
Published by:
CEDEFOP — European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training
Marinou Antipa 12, GR-57001 Thessaloniki
Postal address:
PO Box 27 — Finikas, GR-55102i
Tel. (30-31)49 01 11
Fax (30-31) 49 01 02
E-Mail: info@cedefop.gr
Homepage: www.cedefop.gr
Interactive website: www.trainingvillage.gr
The Centre was established by Regulation (EEC) No 337/75 of the Council of the
European Communities, last amended by Council Regulation (EC) No 251/95 of
6 February 1995 and Council Regulation (EC) No 354/95 of 20 February 1995. A great deal of additional information on the European Union is available on the
Internet. It can be accessed through the Europa server (http://europa.eu.int).
Cataloguing data can be found at the end of this publication.
Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1999
ISBN 92-828-2476-4
© European Communities, 1999
Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.
Printed in Italy CEDEFOP introduction
Objective and target groups
The publication of this description of the vocational education and training system
in Norway is a step towards extending the series of descriptions of the (then 12)
Member States published by CEDEFOP between 1993 and 1996 to include the three
new Member States and countries covered by the European Economic Area (EEA)
Agreement. The objective is to present an overview of vocational education and
training activities in Norway so that it is easily understood by interested 'foreigners'.
The target group includes those who may be responsible for, and concerned with,
VET policy issues, researchers in this field, directors of vocational training
departments or institutions, and trainers and teachers, whether they work at EU or
Member State level, or for a governmental or social partner organisation. Some may
be using the text at their desks as a reference document. Others may be visiting the
country concerned either on a study visit or to plan or execute a bilateral or
multilateral project and are more likely to wish to read the document from
beginning to end.
Content and structure
The volumes in this series set out to describe initial and continuing vocational
education and training (VET). As far as initial VET is concerned, this means including
provision which is in some cases the responsibility of Ministries of Education and in
others of Ministries of Employment or Social Affairs. As far as continuing VET is
concerned, it requires coverage of provision for both the employed and
unemployed, usually by a wide range of governmental bodies and ministries, by
private and social partner organisations.
The structure of the report (see the list of contents) has been laid down in some
detail by CEDEFOP, which has also placed limits on how long it should be. The
structure is, in general terms, similar to that adopted for the reports on the Member
States commissioned in 1992, but there have been some changes such as the
addition of a chapter on what we have called 'qualitative aspects', including
information on certification, training of trainers and guidance. We are requiring the
authors of all monographs, including those updating the existing ones, to follow
this amended structure, so as to facilitate readers who wish to try to make
comparisons between the systems.
Choice of author and consultation procedures
For this series CEDEFOP has tried to achieve a product which in some way is
impossible. We wished to have a report written by an insider of the system
concerned, but easily comprehensible to the outsider. It followed that the
person/institution chosen as an author is an insider, located in the country being
described and, unless, as is the case in Norway, they choose not to do so, writing in
their mother tongue. A further corollary of this was that CEDEFOP has tried to play
the role of 'outsider' in discussions on the draft text, in order to draw authors'
attention to places where the report was likely not to be easily understood by the
public for which it is intended.
CEDEFOP has also stipulated that the authors must carry out a consultation on the
draft with the main parties involved in VET in their country. This has meant their
sending the draft not only to the various public bodies responsible for organising
the system and providing VET, but also to the principal representative bodies of the
social partners. The assistance of the members of the CEDEFOP's Management Board
in the country concerned has in particular been requested in this connection. Publishing and updating
It is CEDEFOP's intention, as long as the necessary resources are available, to publish
these monographs in paper form in their original language and in English, French
and German. In occasional and exceptional circumstances, it may publish some
monographs in additional languages. Experience has, however, shown that the
timescale involved in translating and publishing in hard copy form and the rate of
change in the systems described means that the reports can almost never be entirely
up to date. CEDEFOP intends therefore also to use electronic means of publishing,
including making summaries and updates of the texts available on CEDEFOP's
Internet site and the production of a CD-ROM.
Comments and feedback
As indicated above, CEDEFOP is conscious that in preparing this series it has had to
make choices. We would very much appreciate having readers' views as to whether
we have made the right ones concerning the scope, content and structure of the
report. We would be pleased to have your comments by letter, fax or e-mail.
Vocational education and training in Norway
The Norwegian system appears to be a well-integrated one, in which vocational
education and training is given a place of virtual equality with general education. A
four-year upper secondary vocational education which incorporates two years in
school and two years in a company as an apprentice provides a unique method of
binding apprenticeship into the school system, while at the same time making the
school system respond to the needs of employers and the labour market. The high
levels of participation in higher education, but also the strong vocational
orientation of much of thatr, also underline the attempt at a
unitary system of education and training which is egalitarian, comprehensive and of
high quality. In addition, there is an interesting organisation of regional and local
responsibility and a very strong participation, both formal and informal, of the
social partners.
This monograph, like the recently published volumes on Sweden and Finland,
underlines that while there may be much in common in the approach and
particularly the overall objectives of the Nordic countries to education and training,
each has a system which is substantially different from the others.
We are very grateful to Mr Halfdan Farstad of the Leonardo da Vinci National
Coordination Unit who prepared this monograph. He responded very positively to
the comments and proposals for changes which CEDEFOP made. We hope that
together we have provided the reader with a useful tool.
¿Lu^ gU~^ i iJX^U ili**» (^J-J/vL_
Stavros Stavrou A J. Michael Adams Reinhard Nöbauer
Deputy Director 1) Project co-ordinators
Thessaloniki, July 1998 Contents
Author's preface
Chapter 1 Background information 13
1.1. Political and administrative structures 13
13 1.1.1. Size and location
13 1.1.2. Political structure
14 1.1.3. Responsibility for vocational education and training
14 1.1.4. Regional and local government
15 1.1.5. Decision-making — an open process
1.2. Population 16
1.2.1. Total population 16
1.2.2. Demographic trends 16
1.2.3. Age distribution and birth rates 18
1.2.4. Immigration 19
1.3. The economy and the labour force 21
1.3.1. Norway's economy 21
21 General survey Major trends 21
22 Economic development — key data
23 The system of collective bargaining
23 1.3.2. The labour market and employment
23 Labour force and employment
27 New jobs
28 Employment and age
28 Educational level of labour force
28 Immigrants and the market
29 Employment by industry/sector
29 Registered unemployment 1980-96
31 Unemployment by county
31 by sex
31 Age variations
32 Variations according to educational background
32 Unemployment among immigrants
33 Long-term unemployment
33 Increasing labour shortages
33 Scenarios for the Norwegian economy and employment
Chapter 2 The education system 35
2.1. Objectives, principles and actors 35
2.1.1. General introduction: education and training in a broader context 35
2.1.2. Basic principles 36
2.1.3. Costs and participation 36
2.1.4. The influence of social partners on education and training 38
2.1.5. Reforms in the 1990s 39
2.2. Historical survey 40
2.2.1. The Union Period 40 General 40
41 Vocational education and training
2.2.2. 1905-79 41
41 General
43 Vocational education and training
45 2.2.3. 1980-97
45 General
45 Vocational education and training
47 The reforms of the 1990s 2.3. Overview of the structure of the education system 50
2.4. The concepts of initial and continuing vocational training2
Chapter 3 The vocational education and training system — provision
and participation 55
3.1. Initial vocational education and training
3.1.1. Upper secondary level Overall structure Basic principles6 Responsibilities of county authorities 58 Training models9 Apprenticeship 60 Second chance — § 20 of the act concerning vocational
training2 Curricula, courses and recognised occupations 63 Scale and participation Global overview Participation by women Immigrants in upper secondary education and
training 7
3.1.2. Higher education1 Admission Public provision3 Private4 Network Norway Growth5
3.1.3. Provision for individuals with specific needs 76 Upper secondary level Higher education
3.2. Continuing vocational training 78
3.2.1. Scale of participation and trends in delivery
3.2.2. General provision: major suppliers and types of training 79 Technical colleges — training as a technician Resource centres 80 Universities and State colleges Study associations (Studieforbund)2 Distance education institutions
3.2.3. Business-oriented competence enhancement measures 83 In-company training Public measures5 Consultancy services (Veiledningstjenesten — VT) 8 The Norwegian Industrial and Regional Development
Fund — SND6 Measures organised by various ministries 87 Private suppliers of continuing education 8 Training provision by sectoral, employers' and
employees' organisations 88
3.2.4. Training as a labour market measure9 Labour market training (AMO) 90 Rehabilitation1 In-service training (Bedriftsintern opplaering — BIO)
and substitutes for unemployed2 Basic training of non-Norwegian speaking adults 93 Chapter 4 The administrative and financial framework 95
4.1. Administration of education and training 9
4.1.1. Laws and legal arrangements regarding vocational training
4.1.2. Administrative arrangements6 National level8 National Education Offices The National Council for Vocational
Training — RFA9 The training councils 100 National appeals boards1 County level 102 Vocational training committees3 Examination boards (Prøvenemnder) 10 Municipal level4 Adult education and training 10
4.2. Financial arrangements7
4.2.1. Initial vocational training Total investment and source of funds 10 Upper secondary education and training 10 Higher education State educational loans and grants8 Financial incentives to enterprises for initial vocational
training 110
4.2.2. Continuing vocational training2 Total investment and financial sources 11 Financial incentives for investment in CVT by enterprises 11 Financial for in CVT by individuals3
Chapter 5 Qualitative aspects5
5.1. Quality standardisation and certification
5.1.1. Quality standards and quality assurance measures 11 Political responsibilities and means Implementation and monitoring Central principles in ensuring quality in upper
secondary VET 117
5.1.2. Certification8 Upper secondary education The status of the trade and journeyman's
certificate Higher education and training9 The degree programmes 120 Interinstitutional mobility Other professional qualifications1
5.2. Training of teachers and trainers 122
5.2.1. Initial teacher training
5.2.2.l training for instructors and other personnel in enterprises 124
5.2.3. In-service training for teachers and instructors at upper
secondary level
5.3. Vocational information and guidance5
5.3.1. Formal responsibilities
5.3.2. Implementation Vocational guidance for job-seekers 12 information and guidance at school Follow-up service (Oppfolgingstjeneste)5.3.3. Information and guidance materials 126
5.3.4. International cooperation on vocational information and guidance 12 EURES 127 The National Resource Centre for Vocational
Guidance —NSY NAIC8
Chapter 6 Trends and perspectives 129
6.1. Current trends9
6.1.1. A general increase in the level of education and vocational training 12
6.1.2. Stronger involvement of the social partners in VET at upper
secondary level 130
6.1.3. Increased women's participation
6.1.4. Internationalisation of education and training 131
6.1.5. Recruitment problems within technical professions
6.1.6. Increased focus on CVT — updating and further training The'Buer'committee2
6.2. Perspectives
135 Annexes
1. List of abbreviations and acronyms 137
2. Major organisations and institutions 139
3. Sources for further information 143
4. Glossary 145
5. Paths leading to formal vocational qualifications,
upper secondary level 148