How to find an apprenticeship in Norway?

weld apprenticeshipApprentice welders. Photo: udir.

How to find an apprenticeship in Norway?

Record numbers of youngsters are applying for vocational subjects, and most of them get an apprenticeship. The Directorate of Education has looked into how even more persons can complete an education as skilled workers. The importance of adults in the support system is often decisive to point youngsters in the right direction.


– In this year’s Education Mirror we will look into what can help youngsters with a difficult starting point to achieve an apprenticeship. We listen to experiences from youngsters who have been provided with an internship in spite of weak grades or high absenteeism and from those who have not found an apprenticeship, says Director in the Directorate of Education, Hege Nilssen.

20,000 applicants

In 2017, there were 20,000 students with youth rights to apprenticeship. This is the highest number of applicants since 2011, and a record number of them, 72 per cent, found an apprenticeship. Even so, 5,500 of those who applied an apprenticeship are without one.

– In this group, we see that, despite a difficult starting point, there are still many who start vocational training during the school year, either as an apprenticeship candidate, vocational education at school or they get a contract later, says Nilssen.

The Education Mirror is an annual summary of the kindergarten and school year with statistics and analyses. This time around, the directorate also conducted a quantitative and qualitative analysis of youngsters who haven’t got an internship.

Stories from youngsters who don’t get an apprenticeship

The Directorate has conducted talks with youngsters and adults in the support apparatus around them.

– The stories about the youth struggling to achieve an apprenticeship have some clear common features. Becoming an apprentice is too many a demanding step into the adult working life.

Success in internship placement is of great importance.

– Some youngsters with weak grades flourish in practice, while others fail to take advantage of the opportunities that internship placement provides, these surveys show. It is important to take note of the stories from the youngsters, says Nilssen.

The Education Mirror gives you a good overview of key figures for kindergarten, school and vocational education.

Key findings from this year’s Education Mirror

Statistics and conversations with youth and support system show that

  • Nearly 40 per cent of those who did not find an apprenticeship by December 31st, is still in the process of vocational education during the school year 2017-18, either because they get an apprenticeship later, are apprenticeship candidates or are in vocational education in the school system. 1,300 attends High School.
  • Youngsters with weak grades and high absenteeism are less likely to achieve an apprenticeship than those with higher grades and lower absenteeism.
  • Applicants with immigrant backgrounds find apprenticeships less frequently than other applicants.
  • Parents’ educational background is of little importance as long as it is above primary school level.
  • 1 out of 5 applicants who did not get an apprenticeship, we do not know what does.
  • Nearly half of youngsters with less than 3 (1 to 6) in grade get an apprenticeship. The qualitative study explores what can tip these in the right direction.
  • To many, becoming an apprentice is a demanding step into the adult working life. Psychological challenges, wrong choices or immature attitude towards working life can be challenging for both youth and learning companies.
  • Successful internship placement in Vg1 and Vg2 is important for learning (High School level 1 & 2). Some youngsters with weak grades blossom in practice, while others fail to take advantage of the opportunities that practice placement provides.
  • Help and support from counsellors and teachers and others in the apparatus around the youth turn out to be crucial for many youngsters to get an apprenticeship. Often, there are completely different things that the youngsters need help with, and the counselling apparatus must see each and every youth and take advantage of a wide range of instruments and flexibility in the regulations.


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