Skills Norway is the Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning and belongs to the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.
The agency's main goal is to contribute to supporting active citizenship, improving employability and increasing participation in education. The agency is working to ensure that adults, whether in work or not, have access to the skills training they need. It pulls together knowledge and submit recommendations to government authorities and other parties to bring about skills policy development.
The welfare of the Norwegian population is determined by the standard of the populations skills and ability to make use of them. Society's ability to include people with different competencies is becoming increasingly important for the productivity of our labour force. Norway needs to be able to handle ongoing restructuring without increasing the inequalities between those who live here. This requires further investment in competence, to ensure that more of us get into work and that our businesses attract the skills they need.
The agency is also involved in international cooperation and we are the current national coordinator for the European Agenda for adult learning. Skills Norway also acts as the secretariat for the national council for tertiary vocational education (Nasjonalt fagskoleråd), and we have a coordinating role for the Nordic Network for Adult Learning (Nordisk Nätverk för Vuxnas Lärande, NVL).
Skills Norway and Lifelong Guidance
Skills Norway has a special assignment from the Ministry of Education and Research to strengthen the coordination and cooperation, widen access and increase the quality in lifelong guidance services in Norway. Skills Norway has an advisory role to the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research on lifelong guidance development.
Skills Norway is working to develop more comprehensive career guidance services in all counties, based on existing public careers centres. The agency is also working to put in place a national online guidance service which will enable all users to meet with professional careers advisers. A national careers web site will also be developed, giving all citizens access to quality assured information and self-help tools. This assignment is a cooperation with the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training.
Skills Norway currently has an assignment to develop a quality framework to secure high-quality provision of career guidance in all sectors. The quality framework will also develop tools to work more systematic with quality assurance and development. The project involves partners from all sectors.
The quality framework will consist of four elements:
- Competence standards - to inform all sectors on what professional career guidance is and what competencies practitioners should hold
- A framework for career learning (a Career Management Skills Framework) - to help and inspire practitioners and programme developers to deliver more and better career learning
- Ethical guidelines - to secure that career guidance services hold a high ethical standard
- Tools to enable more systematic quality assurance, both at service- and policy level
Skills profiling and career guidance can help enabling refugees to put their existing skills and work experience to use at an earlier stage. Skills Norway is working to expand the career guidance services available for those who live in reception centres for asylum seekers as well as other immigrants.
Skills Norway is working to strengthen cross sectorial cooperation at systems level, trough chairing a National Forum for Career Guidance that brings together all stakeholders and a National Co-ordination Group consisting of leading representatives from relevant governmental units set up to coordinate policy development and implementation in the different sectors.
The agency is also working to strengthen the common professional identity amongst career guidance practitioners, e.g. through hosting national conferences, supporting the masters-programme, editing a national web-site for all career guidance professionals, as well as other measures to promote the career guidance community in Norway.