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Career guidance and counselling services
In 2020 the Parliament passed an amendment to the Education Act that gives the counties a statutory duty to provide career guidance. This is a follow-up to the Norwegian Official Report 2016: 7 Career guidance for individuals and communities which recommended that career centres with sufficient capacity should be established in all counties. The public career centres offer free career guidance and job search assistance to anyone over the age of 19.
Skills Norway coordinates the career guidance field in Norway through the National Unit for Lifelong Guidance. The main objective of the Unit is to improve the quality in career guidance and to promote equal access to career guidance services for young people and adults in all life stages. Skills Norway is developing an online career guidance. The service is being developed on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Research and will be launched in the autumn of 2020.
Career guidance and counselling services specifically for young people
According to the Education Act § 9-5 and § 22- 3 pupils in upper secondary school have the right to educational and vocational counselling through advice and information on:
- choice of profession and education
- education tracks
- occupational areas and the labour market
- guidance tools, application deadlines, entry conditions and funding schemes
- job search and application procedures
The law also stipulates (§ 3-6 and § 13- 3) that youth up to the age of 21 who are not in education or work should receive individual follow-up and supervision. The county is responsible for establishing the follow-up services and establishing contact with individual youth in the target group.
Norway has no public Youth Guarantee scheme equivalent to the one described in the European employment strategy. Yet, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) is the responsible authority and implementer (at the county level) of a more narrowly defined youth guarantee in Norway. From 2017 a new “youth effort” was introduced, replacing three existing guarantee schemes for young people without a job and education. The “youth effort” provides a job-oriented offer to job seekers under the age of 30 who, after eight weeks of unemployment, are not in work, education, or other activity. The effort is aimed at motivating young people to seek employment, increase their job search skills and to quickly get unemployed young people into work, education, or other activities.
Online information and guidance
NAV has a dedicated online platform for youth with information about rights and available services for young jobseekers.
Ung.no, a public information website administered by the Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs for young people aged 13 – 20 provides information and guidance about opportunities, rights and obligations related to the labour market.
The county careers centres are funded from various sources and this may differ among the counties. The National Unit for Lifelong Guidance has on behalf of the Ministry of Education and research managed a state grant for career guidance partnerships. A good portion of these funds have been used to finance career centres. In addition, the counties themselves, NAV and municipalities contribute with financing or other resources. Some centres receive project funding as well.
More than NOK 60 million was allocated in 2017 for nationwide strengthening NAV's capacity to conduct enhanced follow-up of young people through the “youth effort”. The funds came in addition to what the Ministry of Labour and Welfare already spends on this priority group. NOK 70 million was allocated for the same purpose in 2018 and the “youth effort” as a core priority has been continued in consecutive years.
The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) is responsible for the implementation of the national “youth effort” and reports to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The Ministry of Education and Research oversees the Education Act. The Directorate of Education has developed recommendations for counties, municipalities and private schools regarding the formal education, knowledge, attitudes and skills a career counsellor should have.