1. Pupose

The purpose of the Official Committee on Skill Needs is to provide the best possible evidence-based assessment of Norway’s future skills needs, as a basis for national and regional planning, and for strategic decision making of both employers and individuals.

2. Background

School drop-out and misinformed choices in education, learning and work are costly for the individual and society. For the individual, the costs originate from foregone earnings and personal strain. In the future, more people will need new skills due to national and global change, and because aging of the population implies more ability and needs to work longer than before. If the labour market does not get access to appropriately skilled labour, or have a good understanding of its own skill needs, the labour market and society will not be able to plan and resolve its 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, contributes to a possibly increasing need for skill conversion among workers. We need a common evidence-based understanding of Norway’s future skill needs, acknowledging the uncertainties of assumptions and analyses, as well as the limits of the knowledge base. This requires systematic analysis, dialogue and dissemination of skill needs. Many estimations and analyses are currently being made to illustrate Norway’s future skill needs, as technological development take place and market changes bring fourth new perspectives. The challenge is to assemble and assess all relevant sources of knowledge, despite variations in assumptions, methodology and thus generating varying results. We currently lack a common arena for the collection, analysis and discussion of these largely fragmented sources. The purpose of the Government Committee on Skill Needs is to be this arena

3. Tasks

The purpose of the Government Committee on Skill Needs is to:

  • Generate and organise the evidence base on Norway’s future skill needs based on available regional, national and international research, statistics, projections and analyses.
  • Apply a wide methodological approach and stimulate the development of new evidence, including scenario analyses, quantitative and qualitative analyses, projections and surveys contributing to illuminate skills needs in society and better understand individual educational choices, learning and work, both nationally and regionally.
  • Contribute to better coordination and efficient utilisation of resources between different stakeholder in terms of development, design and implementation of analyses related to skill needs.
  • Analyse the available evidence base with the aim of providing the best possible analysis and assessment of future skills needs for the labour market and Society. The Committee shall generate knowledge of future skills needs in the short, medium and long term. Both national and regional analyses must be included.
  • Consider different ways of describing and categorising future skills needs on and discuss various conceptual and methodological aspects of different approaches to concepts of competence. The Committee shall apply a broad understanding of skills and acknowledge that skills extend beyond education.
  • To facilitate and stimulate open dialogue and discussion about skill needs with different stakeholders and more generally.
  • Produce an annual report providing analyses and assessment of Norway’s future skill needs nationally and regionally. The annual reports may have different time horizons and thematic approaches, but during the mandate period, they must cover a 20-year perspective.
  • At own initiative, raise issues regarding skill requirements in own reports or other documents.

4. Composition

The Committee consists of 18 members. The Committee’s Chair is a researcher whose weight is double in case of voting. The composition is as follows:

– The main social partners, eight in total: the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise NHO, the Employers’ Association Spekter, the Enterprise Federation of Norway Virke, the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities KS. From the employee side: the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), the Confederation of Unions for Professionals (Unio), the Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations (Akademikerne) and the Confederation of Vocational Unions (YS). Eight in total.

– Ministries (Ministry of Education and Research, Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs). Three in total.

– Analysts / researchers, including from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration NAV and Statistics Norway. Seven in total, including the Chair (researcher).

5. Framework for the Committee’s work

  • The Government has appointed the Committee on Skill Needs initially for three years.  After the end of the period, and based on an evaluation, the Committee’s work can be extended, possibly with an adjusted mandate. Members of the Committee could then be re-appointed or replaced.
  • The Committee receives an annual budget framework from the Ministry of Education and Research. The Committee’s Secretariat is placed in Skills Norway. The Secretariat is managed by a Head of Secretariat.
  • Publications from the Committee are delivered to the Ministry of Education and Research.
  • Any questions related to the interpretation of the mandate, the budget or others matters relating to the Committee must be addressed to the Ministry of Education and Research.

The Annual Skill Needs Report is due February 1st  each year, beginning February 1st 2018.