Lifelong guidance in Norway


In Norway, pupils in lower secondary and upper secondary school are entitled to receive career guidance. The pupil is entitled to receive the help he or she needs to exploit individual resources, find information and to make decisions on future vocational and educational choices. The school management is responsible for addressing the pupil's right to guidance.

In lower secondary school the subject "Choice of education" is a curriculum-based subject aimed at providing the pupils necessary career competencies.

Higher education

Have to some degree established career guidance services, aimed at giving students and graduates help and assistance to make educational and career choices both during higher education and after graduation.

Public Employment Services (Nav)

Every citizen applying for services from PES (Nav) has the right to have their needs assessed for services to assist them to enter or re-enter the labour market. Career guidance programmes and individual career guidance services is often an integrated part of the service provided by PES. Focus on social- and work inclusion and emphasize on using ordinary working life as training and outplacement arena is one of the tools of active labour market measures.

Career Guidance for refugees

The past few years, a defined group of newly arrived refugees have had access to digital mapping of skills and career guidance in asylum reception centers. The career guidance is aimed at giving the refugee more knowledge about possibilities and limitations when it comes to education and work, become more aware of own skills, strengths and interests, how to make carrier choices in Norway, how to cope with the transition from refugee to employee.

Regional Career Centres

There are regional career centers in all counties in Norway. The career centers offer free of charge career guidance services to all adults over the age of 19. The centers also have an assignment to contribute to strengthen the quality and professionalism of the career guidance services both in schools and in the Public Employment Services (PES). The career centers are jointly finance by the county, the regional PES-authorities and the government. The centers are organized through regional partnerships for career guidance.

Regional Partnership for Career Guidance

The regional partnerships for career guidance consist of local stakeholders, at the minimum the county authorities and the regional PES-authorities. The partnerships have varying organization but are all aimed at strengthening the cooperation and coordination between providers of career guidance services and relevant stakeholders. The overall aim is to strengthen the quality and widen the access to career guidance.

Digital career services

Norway is currently working on developing an all age, national digital career guidance service that will give all citizens access to a quality assured careers web-page and a national e-guidance service.

Some corner stones in policy development in recent years

In February 2017 the Government (represented with five different ministries) together with the social partners, agreed upon a Skills Policy Strategy for Norway. The Skills Policy Strategy sets out the direction for the future skills policy in Norway. Among other issues, the strategy points at the importance of a more comprehensive lifelong guidance system and of better system for gathering and giving labour market information. In 2016 an expert committee advised the Government on how to develop a better system for lifelong guidance (Career Guidance for Individuals and Society). Together, this has served as policy levers in the field of career guidance. The development of a more accessible digital service and making of a quality framework for career guidance, are direct follow ups of this. An important leverage for the policy development on lifelong guidance in Norway, was the OECD Skills Strategy Diagnostic Report and a Skills Strategy Action Report made in 2016, which advised Norway to develop a more comprehensive career guidance system.