Official Committee on Skill Needs

1. Purpose

The purpose of the Norwegian Committee on Skill Needs (Kompetansebehovsutvalget) is to provide the best possible evidence-based assessment of Norway’s future skill needs. This assessment will form the basis for planning and strategic decision making of both authorities and in the labour market, regionally and nationally.

2. Background

Dropout and misinformed choices in education, learning and work, are costly, for the individual and society. For the individual, the costs are both foregone earnings and personal strain. In the future, far more people will need new skills because of the labour market transitions, both nationally and globally. The ageing of the population means that we can and must work longer.

If the labour market does not get access to the work force needed, or if there is not a good understanding of skill needs, the labour market and society will not be able to plan and solve tasks in the best possible manner. If, as a consequence, highly productive industries are prevented from developing, Norway may forego substantial future revenues. Technological development, largely driven by increasing digitalisation, is contributing to expectations of greater need for transition going forward.

The Norwegian Committee on Skill Needs has systematized the sources of knowledge on Norway’s future skill needs. The work has to a large extent been based on national and international research and has resulted in three Official Norwegian Reports (Norges offentlige utredninger, or NOUs).

3. The Norwegian Committee on Skill Needs 2020–2026

There are many sources of knowledge. The Committee has so far given a solid and unified understanding of the research-based knowledge. The Committee will still be researcher heavy, and knowledge based on research and facts will still form the basis of the Committee’s future work. At the same time, it is important that the experience and input from the social partners are preserved. The Committee will spend more time on analyses and pointing out challenges. The future is difficult to predict, and therefore, the Committee will also describe dilemmas that arise when assessing future skill needs.

The Norwegian Committee on Skill Needs will continue from 2020 to 2026. The Committee will not produce Official Norwegian Reports (NOUs). The Committee is encouraged to target its work at specific topics. To free up the Committee’s capacity for analyses and assessments, the directorate Skills Norway (Kompetanse Norge) will be assigned to update and continue the knowledge base that the Committee produced in the first period. The Committee will have its own secretariat at Skills Norway.

The members of the Committee will be appointed for two years at a time, over a period of six years.

4. Assignments

The Norwegian Committee on Skill Needs has the following assignments.

  • Analyse and assess the available knowledge base and give the best possible evidence-based analysis and assessment of society’s future skill needs, including the education system’s ability to cover these needs.
  • Provide an analysis and assessment of the future skill needs both for the short, medium, and long term.
  • Facilitate and stimulate open dialogue and discussion about society’s skill needs with different stakeholders and society more generally. The Committee is to highlight the input from the social partners.
  • Produce at least one report every second year with analysis and assessment of Norway’s future skill needs, nationally and regionally. The Committee may on its own initiative raise issues that concern skill needs in separate reports, articles, or other documents.
  • The Committee’s work and products should be made relevant to the development of skill policies by national and regional authorities, including planning in the education sector.

5. The members of the Committee

There are 16 members of the Committee. The Committee Chair is the director of Skills Norway. As Committee Chair, the director of Skills Norway is independent of the Ministry of Education and Research.

The Committee:

    • The director of Skills Norway (Committee Chair)
    • The main social partners, 8 in total. Four from the employer side (NHO, Spekter, Virke, KS), and four from the employee side (LO, Unio, Akademikerne, YS).
    • Analysts/researchers. 7 in total.
    • One representative from the county councils (fylkeskommunene).

6. Framework

  • The Norwegian Committee on Skill Needs is appointed for six more years. All members of the Committee are appointed for two years at a time.
  • The Committee gets an annual budget framework from the Ministry of Education and Research.
  • The directorate Skills Norway is assigned to update the knowledge base.
  • The Committee will have its own secretariat at Skills Norway.