Skills for the future

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Education and Research

Education is becoming an increasingly important factor for success in the Norwegian labour market.

It is therefore more vital than ever before to take good, well-informed decisions about your education.

The number of people in work with a higher education or recognised vocational training keeps on growing, according to Statistics Norway. See the whole report here (opens in a new window). Meanwhile, the proportion of the workforce with lower secondary school as its highest completed level of education has fallen from 58 per cent in 1972 to 22 per cent in 2010. The figure below shoes that this basic trend will continue until 2030: While a growing section of the workforce has a higher education or a vocational qualification, it is becoming more difficult for people who have only completed lower or upper secondary education to find a job.

Employment by education level, as a proportion of the total workforce:

Graf om utdanning i arbeidslivet.
Kilde: SSB (2013)

Source: Statistic Norway (2013)

Making good educational choices
These developments mean that it is more important than ever before to take good, well-informed decisions about your education. In order to ensure that the education system does a better job at preparing people for the labour market, the government has established a project to develop a national system for analysing, discussing and communicating future skills requirements. The goal is to develop a more detailed and better understanding of these skills requirements, to help people make good choices about their education, and so that the number of places at universities and vocational colleges more closely matches the needs of the labour market.

Serious shortage of people with vocational training

Statistics Norway’s latest projections[1] show a particularly large shortage of people with vocational qualifications between now and 2030. This applies to groups like electricians, mechanics, technicians, construction workers and healthcare workers. In terms of higher education, the projections show a lack of nurses and teachers. On the other hand, there may be a big surplus of people with a higher education in finance and administration, humanities, visual arts, social science and law. For engineering and other maths and science-based subjects, supply and demand are more or less evenly matched overall.

[1] Gjefsen, Gunnes and Stølen (2014): “Projections of population and labour force by education based on alternative assumptions about immigration”. (http://www.ssb.no/arbeid-og-lonn/artikler-og-publikasjoner/_attachment/200990?_ts=14909943420)