EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

In-house training (BIO)

Norway
Phase: Management
Type:
  • Access to finance
  • Response to COVID-19
  • Advice
  • Training
Last modified: 03 August, 2021
Native name:

Bedriftsintern opplæring (BIO)

English name:

In-house training (BIO)

Coverage/Eligibility

Companies that need to make a major change to their production or establish themselves in new markets.

Main characteristics

The aim of the BIO scheme is to prevent employees from being excluded from the labour market in connection with ​restructuring processes. With the BIO scheme, employers can get funding to raise the competence of their employees so that they can keep their job. The BIO scheme has traditionally been invoked in connection with major restructuring processes, where they are seen to have substantial labour market effects; an example would be a cornerstone company (a company with major importance for local communities) facing major financial challenges. Companies can apply for co-funding of training measures to ease the restructuring process, and for contribution to wage expenses. The training may be related to changes in production methods, transition to new products or services, changes in manufacturing equipment. 

The training period for participants should as a rule not exceed 26 weeks, unless employees rotate between training courses and work. Funding may include:

  • expenses on trainings;
  • travelling expenses;
  • equipment necessary for training purposes;
  • expenses to counselling related to training;
  • wages for participants.

Expenses on trainings must be at least 1/3 of the funding, while expenses to cover wages cannot exceed 2/3. The funding cannot exceed more than 70% of the total cost of the training. The period of training for each participant can last up to 26 weeks. 

From 1 January 2020, the BIO scheme was transferred from the state to the regional county councils. As part of the governments response to COVID-19, the state funding for the scheme was almost doubled, from NOK 55 million (€5.28 million as at 31 August 2020) to NOK 105 million (€10.09 million). 

Funding

  • Regional funds

Involved actors

Regional/local government
Funding and administration.
Public employment services
Run by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service, NAV (funding distributed by NAV at county level).
Employer or employee organisations
Involved at company level.
Other
Various actors and institutions offering training programmes may be involved.

Effectiveness

No information available.

Strengths

The scheme can be used as an alternative to temporary and permanent layoffs and can keep people at work. An evaluation from 2010 shows that companies find the scheme useful, and claim to have laid off fewer employees temporarily, that employees have increased their competence and that the company has had a market growth. 

Weaknesses

The evaluation report points at some weaknesses:

  • the scheme is limited to 26 weeks, and this limits what kind of training that can be undertaken;
  • applying for funding can be time consuming;
  • it is not easy to combine training with production in situations where the company receive an order for a customer during the training period.

Examples

No information available.
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