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Norway: More opportunities for unskilled workers to obtain craft certificates

‘Craft certificate at work’ is to become a permanent arrangement, ensuring that more unskilled workers obtain a craft certificate. While the country needs more skilled and certified workers ([1]), many already in employment without a certificate seek education. Craft certificate at work is a new flexible pathway to obtaining a craft certificate and opening up the opportunity for more people to receive training, while maintaining their employment.

Craft certificate at work is a scheme where people in paid employment can be regular assessed, get training in the workplace and receive a certificate. The scheme is based on pilot projects in five county councils, with a total of 300 participants during 2011-14. The initiative has been described as ‘a great recipe’ by the participants, with eight out of 10 stating that they had improved at their job. The scheme sets the same requirements as for regular apprentices or trainees for competence in the subject, completion of exams, and the final certificate exam.

The target audience is adults in the workforce who have completed primary school or equivalent education, have experience from a recognised trade, but need guidance and training before a qualifying exam. Candidates need only one year of practice in their field before applying for a contract with the county council and their employer, which will provide guidance and training leading to the examination. Together, they create a plan for the path to a craft certificate. Candidates are exempt from joint subjects, but the scheme emphasises training in basic skills related to the required work tasks. 

Variations in scheme application ensure that those who get their certificate under this initiative will meet the same requirements as those who get their certificates in traditional ways.

A certificate is not just proof of professional competence; it also provides greater job security, profiting both the individual and society. With this scheme, it becomes easier for employers to provide help and motivation to their employees. ‘We believe that trade and journeyman certificates are as important as master degrees, and so we need to encourage more people to acquire this competence. Craft certificate at work contributes to this’, says the Minister for Finance.

‘Craft certificate at work’ is expected to come into force in summer 2018.

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Government Norway

 

([1]) Statistics from Statistics Norway show that Norway will need about 71 000 more skilled workers by 2035.