The aim of the SkillsPlus is to give adults the opportunity to acquire the basic skills they need to keep up with the demands and changes in modern working life and civil society.
Funding and participation have increased every year since the programme was established in 2006. The number of participants who have received training now exceeds 30 000.
The programme concentrates on reading, writing, numeracy, and digital skills. Commencing in 2014 the programme also includes oral communication in combination with other skills. Any enterprise in Norway, private and public, can apply for funding.
The following criteria have been emphasised:
the learning activity should be combined with work and basic skills training should preferably be linked to other job-relevant learning;
the courses should strengthen the participants’ motivation to go on learning;
the courses have to relate to the competence goals expressed in our Framework for Basic Skills developed by Skills Norway and approved by the Ministry of Education and Research.
Special efforts are made to include SMEs in the programme and to encourage applications from industries which employ people with relatively low formal skills.
There is a range of training providers, including study associations as well as public and private providers. The providers are important stakeholders in the programme, and they often write the applications on behalf of the enterprises or in their own right, often as a training provider for a group of SMEs. Providers may apply for seed money to help them prepare good applications through meetings with companies, project planning, and motivation activities.
A data base has been established in order to supply up-to-date reports on the progress of the programme. The data base also includes detailed information on participants (gender, formal education, industry etc) and thereby makes it possible to monitor the activity and to ascertain whether it reaches the intended target groups. The data base will also make it easier to evaluate the long term impact of the Competenceplus.
Competence goals, tests, tools and teacher training
Competence goals, profiles for basic jobs skills, tests and educational tools have been developed to assure the quality of provision and to help providers in their task. Vox organises short courses for teachers of basic skills and provides grants for teachers who take further education in the teaching of basic skills.