How Norway compares
Norway's skills snapshot
Developing the relevant skills
- How well does Norway’s education system perform? In the 2009 PISA tests of 15-year-olds, Norway performs above the OECD average in reading (rank 12) and mathematics (rank 21), and slightly below the OECD average in science (rank 24).1
- Does Norway invest enough in education and training? Norway spent 6.2% of its annual income on education in 2009, compared to the OECD average of 6.2%.2
- How much are Norwegian citizens undertaking further education? In 2008, 51% of Norwegian citizens participated in continuing non-formal education compared to the OECD average of 34%.2
- How equal is access to opportunities for further training in Norway? In 2007, 72% of people aged 25-64 with a tertiary-level education participated in formal and/or non-formal education, compared with 38% for people in the same age group with below upper secondary education.3
- Should more be done to prevent skills shortages? Although the unemployment rate rose between 2007 and 2011,4 only 9% of Norwegian employers reported recruitment difficulties in 2011, down from 35% in 2007.5,6
- Is there scope to improve skill utilisation in Norway through strengthening labour force participation? In 2011, 87% of people aged between 25 and 54 were in the labour force, compared to an OECD average of 81%.7The participation rate for prime-age women (aged 25-54) is above the OECD average at 84% in 2011 (OECD average 71%).8
- To what extent are Norway’s older workers supplying their skills to the labour market? In 2011, 70.4% of people aged 55 to 64 were in the labour force, compared to an OECD average of 57.8%.9
- How smooth is the transition from school to work for Norway’s youth? The employment rate of Norway’s youth in 2011 was 50.8%, compared with the OECD average of 39.3%.10 In 2011, the unemployment rate of Norway’s youth was 8.7%, a low rate compared with the OECD average of 16.2%.11
- Are the qualifications of Norway’s workers well matched with the requirements of their jobs? In 2005, 18% of Norway’s workers were over-qualified for their jobs (against theOECD average of 25%), and 25% were under-qualified (against the OECD average of 22%).12Over-qualified (under-qualified) workers are those who have a higher (lower) qualification than the most common qualification of all other workers in the same occupation.
Key recommendations from the OECD Skills Strategy
A country can develop the relevant skills by encouraging and enabling people to learn throughout life; fostering international mobility of skilled people to fill skills gaps; and promoting cross-border skills policies.
A country can activate the supply of skills by encouraging people to offer their skills to the labour market and retaining skilled people in the labour market.
A country can put skills to effective use by creating a better match between people’s skills and the requirements of their job and increasing the demand for high-level skills.
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