Author Archives: Tarja Tikkanen

A competence strategy for Norway to better address future competence needs

OECD Skills strategyBased on a broad analysis of the competence landscape in Norway, the OECD has suggsted five measures to better address future competence needs in the country. Besides calling for a new national competence strategy, the OECD suggests making  an action plan for continuing education and training, strengthening of the cooperation between competence development and economic growth, developing a comprehensive system for lifelong career guidance, and strengthening incentives to more people to choose to work in occupations where there is shortage of labour.

All of these areas  “hit the bull’s eye” when it comes to the issues SkillsREAL-project is focused on. We hope that the goverment will start the work with the above measure as soon as possible.  Link to government’s pages related to the OECD’s Skills strategy.


National focus on skills and competence a stimulating backdrop to implementing the SkillsREAL-project

SkillsStrategyNOSkills and competence, and related policy has been a growing topic in Norway recently. This provides a motivating and constructive grounds for implementing the SkillsREAL project.

Norway was the first country to sign an agreement  with OECD’s Skills Strategy. The latter shall help governments in the OECD member countries to develop strategies for their competence policy in order to prepare them to better meet uncertainties in their future developments. By doing this on the context of the OECD, the memeber countries can ideally learn from other countries’ experiences as well as together with them.

In Norway Skills Strategy is being implemented in broad cooperation between OECD and Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, Ministry of Education (coordinator) and Research, and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. The goal Norway has set for the cooperation is to get a strategic assessment of their national competence policy, i.e. their national human capital. The report is expected later this year.

Almost all of the 12 skills challenges for Norway identified by the OECD’s diagnostic report – see picture – bear also relevance to the thematic in the SkillsREAL project. Examples are young people’s basic skills, school drop-out, participation in employment among young people with low basic skills, among older workers and among those on disability benefits, as well as competence reserve among immigrants.


…was the conclusion reached by the Norwegian Government, pleased that the OECD study documented a good competence (capabilities) among adults in Norway. See the Goverment’s Press Release when the first results from the OECD’s PIAAC-survey were published on the 8.10.2013 – “Gode resultater for voksne i PIAAC”.

The findings for Norway are analysed and publised by the Statistics Norway. Their report is available at the SSB-website “Leseferdigheter og tallforståelse – SSB”.



OECDSkillsOutlookThe first findings from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) were published in October in the OECD Skills Outlook 2013. For a summary of the main findings see PIAAC First Key Findings Skills Outlook 2013.

While the findings show in general that…

“On average, as adults’ proficiency increases, their chances of being in the labour force and being employed increase, as do their wages. Skills proficiency is also positively associated with other aspects of wellbeing.”

…the study also concludes that more education does not automatically translate into better skills: the results showed considerable variation among individuals with similar qualifications/education, both within and across countries. Indeed, the whole report is highly recommended, interesting and inspiring reading!

A large part of the SkillsREAL-project will be based on the PIAAC data, which we shall analyse further, in line with our problem-setting.

Welcome to the SkillsREAL website

Welcome to the website of the research project Skills development for realizing the workforce competence reserve (SkillsREAL). The project is financed by the Norwegian Research Council, under the Research Program Educational Research 2020 (Utdanning 2020) and their call targeted to adults’ learning. The project will start 1.1.2014 and end in June 2017. On this website we shall post information about the project and related material, events, media, and alike.