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Norway: smoother transition to vocational education

Norway is in great need of skilled workers and makes efforts to encourage more people to choose vocational education and training (VET). This year more than 8 300 learners will choose to switch from their VET programme to a programme that prepares them for entrance to higher education.

For the few learners who will switch from general upper secondary education to VET, transition is not easy. Even learners who have completed the first year of a general education programme have to start from the first year in a VET programme. Following an education ministry request, the Directorate of Education and Training has developed an alternative model for these learners. During the first year of general education, they completed the hours in Norwegian, maths, science, English and a social subject that VET learners complete in two years. Consequently, these hours can be used in the second year of upper secondary school to catch up with what the VET learners have learned in the first year. The scheme must be adapted to individual learners, with the school and social partners preparing the relevant curriculum.

The switch model suggested by the Directorate will be valid for learners who have completed one year at upper secondary general education but not for learners from other programmes, such as music, dance and theatre, media and communication, sports, arts, design and architecture. This is because these learners do not have as many hours in common core subjects during the first year.