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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.4 Career guidance and counselling

Last update: 7 July 2023
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  1. Career guidance and counselling services
  2. Funding
  3. Quality assurance

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.

Career guidance services in Norway are available in a range of different sectors to many different target groups, and the services offered are diverse and provided under varying framework conditions. Skills Norway has developed a  National Quality Framework for Career Guidance. The quality framework is meant for practitioners, managers and owners of career guidance services and establishes common standards, principles and values ​​for career guidance. 

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.

Online information and guidance and are are online platform rund by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills to provide career guidance and information about education and career choices.

NAV has a dedicated online platform for youth with information about rights and available services for young jobseekers., 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.

Quality assurance

Skills Norway through the National Unit for Lifelong Guidance is responsible for quality development and quality assurance in the career guidance field in Norway.

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.