Norway needs skilled workers – Dagsavisen

Norway needs skilled workers – Dagsavisen
Norway needs skilled workers – Dagsavisen

53 per cent of pupils who are on their way to upper secondary school have applied for vocational education. That is 1.4 percentage points higher than last year. The proportion of new vocational students has not been so high since 2012. At the same time, more Norwegians are taking higher vocational education at vocational schools.

It is a fact that Norway needs more skilled workers. Næringslivets Hovedorganisaison (NHO) believes that the country is in a persistent vocational crisis. 76 per cent of NHO’s member companies say they lack people with a journeyman’s certificate, 68 per cent say they lack people with a vocational school behind them and 44 per cent lack engineers.

Let’s hope this isn’t just a hoax.

Statistics Norway predicts that the country is in danger of lacking 90,000 skilled workers in ten years. But then we see signs that things are turning in a positive direction. Both the previous and current governments have focused on the fact that more people should take vocational subjects, and better arrangements have been made for this. And slightly more people are now taking these signals, we are to believe this year’s applicant numbers. Academic education is no longer the only blissful thing.

The Støre government has placed particular emphasis on prioritizing higher education through vocational schools. Changes to the law are being worked on to make these schools more efficient. Qualified vocational schools must be able to set up specialized vocational courses themselves without having to apply for prior approval. In this way, the vocational schools can more quickly create studies in line with the changing needs of working life.

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After several years of decline, the proportion is now increasing somewhat for those applying for health and early childhood subjects. 12 percent of all applicants have this as their first choice. However, it is technology and industrial subjects that are increasing in popularity the most. It is interesting to note the large geographical differences. With the exception of Akershus and Oslo, all counties have over 50 per cent applicants for vocational subjects. The proportion in Oslo is just under 27 per cent.

But there is a sliver of joy. The lack of apprenticeships is still great. It is true that the government has allocated extra money to strengthen the counties’ work to get more apprenticeships, but more needs to be done. It should also be mentioned that dropouts are still higher in vocational subjects than in study specialisations.

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Nevertheless, let us use the opportunity to express our joy that vocational subjects have become more popular. Let’s hope this isn’t just a hoax. It is primarily about creating a change in attitude, giving increased status to occupational groups that have long been treated stepmotherly.

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The article is in Norwegian


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