One in five with vocational background

Hågensen Labour Party Trade Union vocational backgroundYngve Hågensen, former Trade Union Leader and Labour Party Member. Photo: Finn Stoveland/Utdaning

Less than one in five top politicians have vocational background

Out of the top 250 Norwegian politicians, less than 20 percent have vocational background, according to  the profession’s magazine Yrke.


The Magazine Yrke (Occupation) has reviewed the education of over 250 parliamentary representatives, ministers, state secretaries and political advisors in the ministries. The survey does not include representatives on leave, or who has not responded.

80 percent of them have secondary education and 68 per cent have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher. By comparison, Statistics Norway figures that only 32 percent of the general population has education at university or similar level.

In the Parliament, the Progress Party has the largest number of representatives with vocational background (32 per cent), while the Conservatives comes in last with 10 per cent.

– I’m proud of it in the sense that the Progress Party represent the diversity of the Norwegian population. We have always expressed this by our slogan “that we are the party for the people”. One should feel welcome both as an electorate and a politician, says Siv Jensen, who herself has higher education in economics.

Few labourers in the Labour Party

In the Labour Party, six out of ten politicians have completed higher education, while only 17 per cent have a vocational background. This confirms in many people’s opinion that Labour is currently led by political “Broilers”, i.e people with no real life experience, only having been part of the political party during their entire career. It is a well known fact that the Party leader, Jonas Gahr Støre, is a multi-millionaire, which may be a contributing reason to labourers voting for other party’s instead.

– The labour movement is not particularly represented in the Parliament anymore, says former Trade Union leader and Labour veteran Yngve Hågensen, who believes the figures may be a part reason behind the election defeat.

Labour Party secretary, Kjersti Stenseng, says that the party will attempt to get more people with vocational background into senior positions.

– I do not think the closeness to the trade unions has become a comfort zone, but we have a challenge to recruit from a broader base, she says.


NTB Scanpix / Norway Today