Norwegian Strategy for Skills Policy 2017-2021

The population's skills are society's most important resource and the basis for welfare, growth, wealth creation and sustainability. Solid skills within the workforce is and will be crucial both for the Norwegian economy's competitiveness and for employment.

The Norwegian labour market has experienced continuous reorganization over the last decades. In the coming years technological advances, climate change, globalisation, changes in industrial structures, immigration and aging of the population will affect skills needs in all areas of employment. The rapid changes in technology and working life imply increased need for lifelong learning.

The challenges the Norwegian labour market is facing provide opportunities and create new skills needs. The Norwegian labour market combines a high level of productivity with high employment rates and learning intensity. There is broad agreement to safeguard and strengthen the Norwegian model of work organization. A well organized labour market and a compressed wage structure contribute significantly to maintaining a high level of skills and welfare.

 In order to succeed a joint effort is required, in which various government actors and administrative levels, the social partners, businesses and NGOs are actively involved and coordinate their efforts. In the report "Skills Strategy Action Report Norway" the OECD pointed out the challenges with lack of coordination between stakeholders in the education, labour market, business and regional policy sectors, both nationally and regionally, as well as between the various administrative levels. The OECD advised Norway to set up a skills strategy incorporating a whole-of-government approach and a strong stakeholder involvement.

To help meet these challenges we, the strategy partners, have developed a National Skills Policy Strategy with a common goal that provides direction for the various strategy partners' work both jointly and separately: the National Skills Policy Strategy aims to ensure that individuals and businesses have the skills that give Norway a competitive business sector, an efficient and sound public sector, and an inclusive labour market.

The strategy partners agree to:
• contribute to making informed choices for the individual and society
• promote better learning opportunities and effective use of skills in
working life.
• strengthen skills among adults with weak labour market attachment

The strategy includes a number of measures aimed at more coordination at local, regional and national level, including the establishment of a Future Skills Needs Committee. Based on this the strategy partners agree to further develop cooperation and coordination of the national skills policy. The implementation of the strategy will be monitored through a Skills Policy Council.

Read the document here.