More must contribute to working life

Sanner Austlid Working LifeCEO of ICT Norway, Hilde Austlid and Minister of Knowledge, Jan Tore Sanner. Photo: ICT Norway/Government

More Norwegians must contribute to working life

“When more Norwegians are to work for a longer time, we must facilitate the replenishment of competence throughout the working life,“ the Norwegian Minister of Knowledge states.


The Norwegian Committee for competence submitted its second interim report to the Minister of Knowledge and Integration, Jan Tore Sanner (Conservatives), on Friday. The committee is headed by Professor at the University of Oslo (UiO), Steinar Holden.

“In this report, the committee highlights eight challenges for the competence policy. Some of the challenges have been high on the agenda in recent years. Among them, the need for continuing and further education in working life. Others have received less attention until now,” Sanner informs.

Weak skills

Among the challenges is that too many people leave primary school with weak skills and low competence. Too many don’t complete upper secondary education. They don’t achieve a stable connection to working life.

The Committee also points out that technological and social developments mean that competence must be developed and renewed. According to the committee, there are many employees who participate too little in training activities in working life and further education.

“This report strengthens the justification for the Government’s competence policy. We are already well underway with the competence reform «Learning throughout life»,” Jan Tore Sanner asserts.

Digital competence the whole working life

ICT Norway, which is the interest organisation of the digital industry, is pleased that the committee sees the need to strengthen digital competence.

The organisation draws extra attention to the need for more ICT study places and higher quality of current studies, coding in schools and bringing digitisation into all professional studies.

“We now expect that the Holden Committee’s advice is listened to by the Government. It is absolutely necessary for the Minister of Digitalisation to succeed and for the development of a sustainable society,” CEO of ICT Norway, Heidi Austlid, stresses.

Eight challenges

These are the eight challenges that the Competence Committee highlights in its second report.

  • It is for many who do not complete upper secondary education and who do not achieve a stable connection to the working life.
  • Technological and social development means that competence must be developed and renewed.
  • Many employees participate too little in training activities in the workplace and take continuing and further education.
  • Increasing life expectancy means that more people have to contribute more to working life to finance the welfare state. It increases the need for replenishment of competence for all employees regardless of age.
  • Cross-border mobility provides uncertainty about future access to expertise.
  • There is a continuing lack of qualified labour in some professions, especially in the health and care sector, primary school teachers, ICT, and skilled workers in construction and construction.
  • Relevant skills for working life should be improved in many higher education programs.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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