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European Year of Skills
News article17 May 2024Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion2 min read

Norwegian Government Forms Committee to Enhance Lifelong Learning in Workforce

Norwegian Government Forms Committee to Enhance Lifelong Learning in Workforce

One of the primary objectives of the European Year of Skills  is to ensure that skills align with the demands of the labour market through close collaboration with social partners and companies. With skills shortages and increasing demands for adaptation, the Norwegian government has taken proactive steps by establishing a committee tasked with exploring how Norway can succeed in developing the skills of its workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow. 

With representatives from both employer and employee sides, the committee will investigate various facets related to workforce education and skills development. These include: 

  •  Assessing opportunities and tools for workplace learning in Norway; 
  • Creating cost-effective yet high-quality educational avenues tailored to labour market needs; 
  • Exploring models to encourage further education and training; 
  • Enhancing the facilitation of workplace learning among the three parties involved; 
  • Refining models for assessing and valuing competencies acquired in the workplace. 

The committee is expected to present its findings in a report due on 31 October 2024. 

The concept of tripartite cooperation, involving collaboration among employers, employees and governmental entities, has deep roots in Norway. This collaborative framework has been instrumental in fostering a highly learning-intensive workforce with robust adaptability. Sustaining this model is deemed essential for effectively providing the necessary skills to both individuals and the labour market, especially amidst evolving societal demands. 

At the heart of this initiative lies the European Year of Skills, which serves as a catalyst for strengthening lifelong learning efforts. From the Norwegian perspective, the European Year of Skills holds the potential to facilitate widespread access to flexible and high-quality education across the country, addressing the skills needs of the labour market, and ensuring that more individuals can access education. Furthermore, the hope is that individuals with limited formal qualifications will seize the opportunity to acquire vocational certificates or other forms of education to enhance their prospects for sustained employment. 

The overarching goal is to restructure and systematise a workforce increasingly driven by skills, necessitating concerted efforts from employers, employees, universities, colleges, vocational schools, and the government to facilitate lifelong learning. 

Central to this endeavour is the Tripartite Industry Programme for Skills Development, a pivotal mechanism for tackling the challenges associated with workforce skill requirements and meeting the objectives of the Year of Skills. This programme, a collaboration between the government and labour market stakeholders, aims to increase participation in skills development within selected industries by expanding access to relevant training. Funding is allocated to the development and piloting of training programmes across all education levels, with educational providers competing for grants to address specific skills needs identified by industry stakeholders. Additionally, the programme implementation involves close collaboration with local employers and employees to ensure that educational offerings are aligned with the target group's needs. 

Through this collaborative effort, the programme aims to equip more businesses and workers with the necessary skills to navigate workforce transitions effectively. The administration of the programme falls under the purview of the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills. 

By fostering robust partnerships and targeted initiatives, Norway is poised to enhance its workforce's skills and adaptability, ensuring competitiveness both on a national and international scale, while promoting individual career advancement and economic resilience.