EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Norway: ERM comparative analytical report on Recent Policy Developments related to those Not in Employment, Education and Training (NEET)

  • Observatory: EMCC
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 06 February 2012



About
Country:
Norway
Author:
Øyvind Berge
Institution:

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

Compared to many other countries, Norway has a relatively low youth unemployment rate, and problems with long-term unemployment among young people are mainly seen as linked to low qualifications among early school-leavers. The main focus is on reducing the relatively high drop-out rate from upper secondary school, and to secure early school-leavers alternative training or employment. In addition, there is concern about the problems young people with disabilities meet when trying to enter the labour market.

1. Introduction

1.1 What is the level of interest among the different stakeholders in your country (policy makers, the media, employers and trade unions) in the issue of NEETs? What are their reasons for having a high/ low level of interest in the topic? (Expected length 100 words)

All young people in Norway have a legal right to attend upper secondary school (11th – 13th school year, age 16-18 years), and around 95 % of young people leaving lower secondary school apply for admission to upper secondary school (Trygstad and Berge 2010). Tertiary education is also free, and students can get financial support for living expenses through the State Educational Loan Fund (Statens Lånekasse). The unemployment among young 15-24 years is 9.3% in 2010 (LFS, annual average) which is higher than the labour market average (3.6%).

Of greatest concern among the stakeholders, especially among policy makers and the media, are early school leavers, i.e. the drop-out rate from upper secondary school. This group is seen as vulnerable in the labour market due to little work experience and low formal qualifications. The drop-out rate among the two last measured cohorts is 18% (measured as the proportion of the cohort that does not complete upper secondary school within five years) (SSB 2010). The drop-out rate has been fairly stable since 1994 (Trygstad and Berge 2010), and is highest among students at vocational studies.

The unemployment rate in the age group 25 to 29 is not higher than the Norwegian average (around 3.4 %), and thereby not of significant concern from any of the stakeholders. The employment rate for this age group is also high – 83 %. There are not any substantial problems related to young people graduating from tertiary education without finding work. Job seeking may take some time, but this group will normally find employment.

1.2 Using the following table, please identify which sub-groups of NEETs are of particular concern to the different stakeholders in your country. Please indicate the relative importance of each group to the different stakeholders; for each group please state whether they are felt to be of ‘significant concern’, ‘some concern’, or ‘no concern’ to the different stakeholders.

Table 1 – NEETs sub-groups
 

Public/media debate

e.g. the extent to which the issue is discussed within the news media

Mainstream Policy

e.g. the range of policy documents tackling the issue, the amount of investment committed to tackling the problem

Employers

e.g. the extent to which this issue is raised as a concern, e.g. through lobbying / pressure on the government, involvement in the design and/or implementation of relevant policies

Trade unions

e.g. the extent to which this issue is raised as a concern, e.g. through lobbying / pressure on the government, involvement in the design and/or implementation of relevant policies

Young people who are unemployed

Some concern (not many young are unemployed)

Some concern

No concern

Some concern

Young people who are in ‘precarious’ or unsuitable employment (e.g. temporary contracts, forced self-employment, part-time work, or jobs which are not commensurate with their level of qualifications)

Some concern

No concern

No concern

Some concern

Early school leavers – young people who have dropped out of education before obtaining an upper secondary level qualification

Significant concern

Significant concern

Some concern

Some concern

Young people with qualifications which do not meet labour market needs

No concern

Some concern

Some concern

Some concern

Teenage/ single parents

No concern

No concern

No concern

No concern

Migrants and minority groups

Significant concern

Significant concern

Significant concern

Significant concern

Young people with disabilities

Some concern

Some concern

No concern

No concern

Young people from workless families

Not relevant

Not relevant

Not relevant

Not relevant

Young people from disadvantaged areas

No concern (the labour market situation does not vary significantly across the country)

No concern

No concern

Some concern

Young people with tertiary education who have been unsuccessful in accessing the labour market

No concern

No concern

No concern

No concern

Other (please specify):

.

       

1.2 Are there any policy measures in your country targeted at those NEETs with tertiary education? If yes please describe these briefly (expected length 100 words).

The NEET rate (2010) among young people in the age 25 to 29 years is 7%, and 5.1% among those with upper secondary/tertiary education (Eurostat figures). This group is not seen as having special problems at the labour market/finding a job, and there are no special measures targeting this group in special.

2. NEET Policies and Measures

2.1 Measures to tackle early school leaving

Preventive Measures to tackle early school leaving

2.1.1 Please provide a short overview of your country’s approach to preventing early school leaving. Where does the focus of policies and measures to prevent early school leaving lie?

Upper secondary education is the responsibility of the county municipalities, and it is voluntary for young people to attend this type of education. All young people have the right to attend upper secondary school or to be offered some alternative training measures. As pointed to in the introduction, early leavers (drop-outs) from upper secondary education are seen as the major problem related to NEETs in Norway. Many of the recent reforms of the educational system and political initiatives have been dedicated to reduce these rates. The policy measures encompass a number of different initiatives and instrument, among others aimed at easing the transfer from lower secondary education (obligatory, age 6-16 years) to upper secondary education (voluntary).

One of the aims of last major reform of the educational system (Kunnskapsløftet - 2006), was to strengthen the lower secondary education to make sure that students have the necessary basic knowledge to go on to upper secondary education.

In 2010/2011 the Ministry of Education and Research has been staring up a 3 year program called NY GIV (Information from the Ministry of Education and Research. In Norwegian). The aim of the program is to prevent drop-outs from upper secondary school and to improve the changes for completing upper secondary education, i.e. preventing early school leaving. The project started up in 2010/2011.

The programs and instruments are partially targeted at lower secondary education and even primary school (improving basic skills, giving students better information about the different subjects/field of study they can chose in upper secondary school. strengthening counselling in order to help students select the field of study that mostly fit their interests and abilities etc.).

Other measures are the introducing of a mapping of students’ qualifications in order to adjust the individual teaching program (after the first year in upper secondary school) and introducing/strengthening alternative learning programs with less theory and more work practice. In addition, students that are seen as in the danger of dropping out (or already have left school), shall be followed up in particular. Employees in the Follow-up service (i.e. the service with responsibility for early leavers) will be offered further training/updating.

The NY GIV program does both comprise measures to prevent early leaving as well as measures to reintegrate drop-outs.

2.1.2 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to prevent early school leaving in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 2 - Early School Leaving: Preventive measures
Early School Leaving: Preventive measures
Name of measure

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

   

Overgangsprosjektet

“The transfer project”

Part of the NY GIV program, 3 year project, involving the county municipalities, incl. Oslo. The aim is to ease the transfer between lower secondary school (8 – 10th grade) and upper secondary school (11th till 13the grade). The project started up 2011, and the aim is that all schools/local governments have joined the project by 2013. Students in lower secondary education with foreseen problems meeting the demands set in upper secondary school, will be given intensive training in subjects such as writing, reading and maths. The targeted group are the 10% lowest performers at the start for the 10th grade (last year in lower secondary school). Teachers will be offered further education to be able to offer such training. Scale: national, regional and local. Unilateral. National state funding. More general measure with impact on NEETs (main objective is to prevent NEETs). No group specifically targeted.

Overgangsprosjektet (In Norwegian)

“Gjennomførings-barometeret”

A project under the NY GIV program, a) aimed at assembling statistics on the number of students finishing upper secondary school, as well as the number of drop-outs, b) developing indications on the follow-up service c) other relevant statistics relevant for drop-out rates. Scale: national level responsibility. Funding: national state funding. NEET impact. No group specially targeted. Gjennomføringsbarometeret (In Norwegian)

2.1.3 Please provide a more detailed description of the preventive early school leaving measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Early school leaving is highest for vocational training, where only 55% graduated (measured 5 years after starting), and 27% left during studies (the rest either were still in school, or completed school without passing all the exams). Over time, the vocational subjects/vocational training have become more theoretically demanding. The critics of the reforms over the last 10-20 years argue that the standard schedule is too theoretically demanding for a number of young people/students without interest in/skills in theory, and that this explains the high drop-out rate.

Over the last years, a project called “Practice Certificate” has been tried out. The group targeted are those who want to acquire some vocational training, but who have problems following the ordinary school based training program/don’t have the necessary motivation to start the 4-year training for a vocational training certificate (i.e. “handpicked” candidates). The Practice Certificate started up in 2007/2008 as a trail project in a few places, and has been extended on. Students start their training with 2 years of work practice. After the 2 years, the candidate will take a test and (if passing this test) will be given a certificate. The students can either use these certified qualifications to seek employment, or go on to ordinary vocational training. Information from the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training- In Norwegian, The Practice Certificate arrangement is still at trial, and we don’t have any figures on the number of students or success rate. The social partners have been involved in designing the scheme due to their traditional involvement in vocational training, and especially the apprentice period at workplace level.

Today the arrangement is not generally open for all students leaving lower secondary school (i.e. you cannot apply for a place here instead of a place in upper secondary school).

The arrangement seem to have broad support – and will most probably be continued - but views differ on whether this should be an arrangement earmarked for students with problems fitting into the standard vocational training, or whether the arrangement should be open for everyone. The scheme is not fully evaluated yet; but intermediary evaluation reports find that the scheme seems very successful, and that it counteracts early school leaving. Evaluation report by NIFU (In Norwegian). Of the 51 candidates, 41 had fulfilled the scheme and 7 had left for other types of training.

Reintegration measures to tackle early school leaving

2.1.4 Please provide a short overview of your country’s approach to the reintegration of early school leavers. Where does the focus of policies and measures lie?

“Reform-94” was implemented in 1994/1995, and gave young people who had completed lower secondary school, a legal entitlement to three years upper secondary education. Young people falling out of the upper secondary school system as well as the group who does not apply for such education , have a right to receive and alternative training measures (or help to find employment) from the Follow-up Service (Oppfølgingstjenesten). This service is administrated by the county administration in close collaboration with the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration – NAV (Berge and Trygstad 2010). In addition, there are a number of local initiatives to help young people outside the schools system and without employment, where the majority will be early school leavers.

2.1.5 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to reintegrate early school leavers in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 2 - Early School Leaving: reintegration measures

Early School Leaving: Reintegration measures

Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

“Follow-up service“ (Oppfølgings-tjenesten - OT)

Obligatory (state regulated) county level service, aimed at following up on school-leavers as well as young people not applying for upper-secondary education (responsibly up till 21 years). The mail objective is to identify those outside upper secondary school, and offer these young people alternative training or help them to find employment. The Follow-up service cooperates with the schools, the Employment and Welfare Service and other services with responsibilities for young people. The service is unilateral, but will cooperate closely with other public and private services, incl. employers, in order for find alternative training or employment opportunities. Finance though public funding. Mainly NEETs. Not targeted at groups with any specific background, but targets the age-group 16-19 years (too young for tertiary education).

Oppfølgingsprosjektet (“The follow-up project”)

Part of the NY GIV program, 3 year project, involving the county municipalities, incl. Oslo. The aim is to strengthen the collaboration and coordination between different authorities with responsibilities vis-à-vis young people (The Follow-Up Service, the schools, the vocational training offices and the Welfare and Labour Service NAV). The group targeted are young people not attending school and without employment (NEETs). The measures are: trying out models for combining work practice and school learning (giving highest priority for the group with more than one year outside school); strengthening the cooperation between different services to ensure early follow-up measures in cases of drop-outs and to increase the competence among the employees in the Follow-up service. The project started up in 2011. National as well as county level measures; mainly unilateral; funded by national funds over the State Budget; NEET specific measure; young people from disadvantaged background not specifically targeted. (Overgangsprosjektet In Norwegian)

Measure 3:  

2.1.6 Please provide a more detailed description of the reintegration early school leaving measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

The “Practice Certificate” (see 2.1.3) might fit into this paragraph as the group targeted is potential drop-outs. But there are also a number of local initiatives aimed at following up on young people without employment and outside the educational system. The Ministry of Children and Equality (BLD) have published a leaflet with a collection of examples of such local measures (Ways back to work school and work, In Norwegian). The report is part of the Ministries policy targeting “Youths on the outside” (Other reports and information from the project (in Norwegian)).

The majority of these local schemes are so-called “low threshold” schemes, targeting young people with multiple challenges (outside school, outside employment, motivational problems, drugs etc.), and are so-called low threshold services. One example is a project in one of the city districts in Oslo. The city district was already offering training in job seeking and job-interviews. This project was extended upon when the city district was into the BLD program. Today the social workers are keeping in contact with young people not only by setting up meetings, but also though email and Facebook, for instance posting information on available jobs. The social workers also give advice on school alternatives, and may also help young people in their contact with NAV (the Employment and Welfare Service). The project is financed by state and municipal funds, and may be labelled a pilot project. The project is working together with a number of other public services/bodies such as the Social Welfare Service, the Child Welfare Service and others, included private employers. A number of other local initiatives exist; using new ways of keeping in contact with young people “on the outside” and offering help to get back into school or finding a job or a place in a job-training program. Common factors (and challenges) seem to be: coming into contact with the NEETs (often no one can provide a list of young people outside school/employment) and the need to be patient since this group is not easy to motivate to take part in training activities/job-seeking activities.

2.2 Measures to facilitate access to employment

Facilitating the transition from school to work

2.2.1 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to facilitating school to work transitions. Where does the focus of policies and measures to facilitate transitions lie?

Expected length: Up to 100 words

Normally young people, who have graduated from school/university, will find work without special measures. Many schools and universities offer job-seeking training for students in their last year (see also below for an example). For persons who meet more serious problems finding a job, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) offer courses and classes to strengthen people’s job seeking abilities (e.g. writing CVs, looking for suitable jobs, job-seeking clubs etc.). NAV also offer schemes giving the opportunity for young people to get work experience. Such measures will mainly be relevant for young people with weak formal qualifications or young people who have been unemployed over some time. There are also a number of measures targeting special groups of jobseekers, among others young people with disabilities.

2.2.2 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to facilitate school to work transitions in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 4 - Access to employment: Measures to facilitate school to work transitions
Access to employment: Measures to facilitate school to work transitions
Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Tiltaksgaranti (“guaranteed access to measures”) or “youth guarantee”

Young people (20-24 years) who have been unemployed 6 months or more are given a so-called “guaranteed access to labour market measures” by the Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV). After 3 months this group is guaranteed “follow up”-measures (e.g. advice etc.).

This guarantee (tiltaksgaranti or ungdomsgaranti) was introduced in 2009, and supplemented the existing “youth guarantee” whereby young people under 20 years are guaranteed either training (school) or access to other employment measures. The type of measures offered, will vary from person to person. The measure is unilateral (NAV); state funding; NEET-specific; no special group targeted but the majority will not have qualifications at tertiary level. A report on the guarantee is published by NAV: NAV 2010: Hvordan fungerer tiltaksgarantiordninger for unge og langtidsledige? This report concludes that NAV are in close contact with young unemployed, but that only 50% of the relevant group actually were offered employment measures.

Measure 2:

.

Measure 3:  

2.2.3 Please provide a more detailed description of the school-to-work transition measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your The centre offer work-shops in basic job search, introduction on how to write a professional CV and cover letter, and a preparation course for the job interviewWhen was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?

  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

The University of Oslo has established a Career Centre, as have the majority of other universities/university colleges. The aim of these career centres is to prepare students for the work life, include practical help in seeking employment. The career centres of other universities and university colleges will offer many of the same services, but the level of activities and resources will vary between larger and smaller units. The example (University of Oslo) is chosen because this is the largest of the Norwegian universities, but the aim is to highlight this measure in general.

The Career Centre of the University of Oslo offer among others “work-shops in basic job search, introduction on how to write a professional CV and cover letter, and a preparation course for the job interview” (Career Centre, the University of Oslo). The Centre also offers individual career guidance and personality tests in order to find the right type of employment. In addition the Centre have online information on available jobs (employers can also advertise available job thought the job portal), and each year the Centre arrange “Arbeidslivsdagen” (open day where employers can meet students and introduce their company/enterprise). The Career Centre is run by the University and the Student Welfare Organization and has 7 employees. The users rate the services as good (feedback though evaluation sheets). We have no figures on the number of students using the services.

Measures to foster employability

2.2.4 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to fostering employability among NEETs. Where does the focus of policies and measures lie?

The important polices in order to foster employability among NEETs is to provide and assist them in getting work experience or formal training. The relevant measures of a more general type have been discussed in the previous paragraphs, i.e. finding appropriate training measurers, getting young people back in (ordinary) school or provide work training though different types of supported employment schemes run by/commissioned by NAV. The aim of the NAV follow-up service for the age group 20-24 in the youth guaranty is to offer training, education, work of other forms of employment relevant schemes which results in increased competence and thereby increased employability. There are also measures targeting young people with special challenges in the labour market, such as people with disabilities. Such measures either provide work experience though supported employment or provide the employees/the employers with the necessary equipment/technical support etc. to adapt the workplace.

2.2.5 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to foster employability of NEETs in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 5 - Access to employment: Measures to foster employability (to include apprenticeships)
Access to employment: Measures to foster employability (to include apprenticeships).
Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

   
Internship programs for people with higher education and disabilities

The State Administration have an internship program for people with higher education and disabilities, where the candidates get work experience and employers get experience with people with disabilities. Unilateral, national funding, NEET-relevant, targeting people with higher education, no special focus on disadvantaged background

Youth guaranty

See table 4

2.2.6 Please provide a more detailed description of the measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country to foster the employability of NEETs (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Arbeidspraksis i ordinært arbeidsliv (work placement) This is a work related measure for people who want to test their opportunities in the labour market, get work experience and through this strengthen the participant’s opportunities to enter ordinary employment. The employer shall appoint a contact person who is responsible for following up on the “trainee” as well as for drawing up a plan for the work practice period. Participants are not employed on ordinary basis in the enterprise, and the employer is not obliged to continue the employment contract after the placement period is finished.

The measure is administrated by the Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), and is a mainstream project. The target group is people who experience difficulties entering the labour market or people with reduced work capacity, and the program is not earmarked for young persons in particular.

For an evaluation of the program, see Hamre 2006: Evaluering av ordinære arbeidsmarkedstiltak påbegynt 4. kvartal 2004. This evaluation report finds moderate effects of participating in work placements schemes compared with a control group.

Removing practical and logistical barriers

2.2.7 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to removing practical and logistical barriers for NEETs. Where does the focus of policies and measures lie?

Norway has as close to full kindergarten coverage and there is a maximum price as well as reduced prices for parents with low income. There are also varies types of economic support for single parents who want to qualify for work (i.e. participate in training measures). For young people with disabilities, the Labour and Welfare Administration offer a wide range of assistive technology and transport to and from work. None of these measures targets young people in particular.

2.2.8 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to remove practical and logistical barriers to employment for NEETs in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 6 - Access to employment: Measures to remove practical and logistical barriers
Access to employment: Measures to remove practical and logistical barriers
Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Transport to work and education

If you have a disability, you can receive economic support for transport back and forth to ones work place or school. National, unilateral, state, no, no, no

Universal design

Universal Design helps counteract discrimination against people with functional impairments. This is a rather general policy (for instance securing entrance to public buildings, shops etc. for people using a wheelchair). Employers are to a certain degree obliged to adapt the workplace for employees with special needs (Working Environment and Workers Protection Act). Such measures are general, and do not target young people in particular. National, state, no, no, no

Tilrette-leggings-garanti

(Guaranteed NAV assistance for adapting the workplace)

The so-called Tilretteleggingsgarantien guarantees that employers and employees will receive the necessary assistance in cases where the employee needs an adapted workplace. This is relevant in cases with reduced functional ability. The guarantee as such was introduced in 2008, but several of the relevant measures have been in force for a long time. The relevant measures might be supported work etc. ,but also access to an assistant or deaf interpreter during working hours and the employer might apply for funding for adapting the workplace or invest in the necessary technical equipment. National, Unilateral, not NEET-specific, tertiary education not especially targeted, employees with disability and their employers targeted.

http://www.nav.no/Arbeid/Relatert+innhold/_attachment/235720?=true&_ts=127e2f538d0

Employer incentives

2.2.9 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to incentivising employers to recruit young people (who are NEET). Where does the focus of policies and measures to incentivise employers lie? Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

The main focus of policies and measures to incentives for employers, lie in reducing the employer’s wage costs as well as allowing them to employ persons on supported employment for a limited period. Norway therefore has various types of wage subsidies for employers who hire people with disabilities, reduced work capacity or who are in the NEET category. A number of private companies offer places for trainees – mainly targeting newly graduated students from universities – but this is not based on any incentives – and might be seen as part of the companies’ recruitment (or CSR) strategies.

2.2.10 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to incentivise employers in your country.

Table 7 - Access to employment: Employer incentives
Access to employment: Employer incentives
Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Employer’s guide (Arbeidsgiverlos)

This is administrated by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration, and consists of people providing guidance and advice to employers with employees with different kinds of mental illnesses. The aim is to increase knowledge about people with mental illnesses, and get them back to work / keep their job. The measure does not target young people in particular, but all age groups. The background for such measures is the fact that many people have problems entering/re-entering the labour market if they experience psychological/ dysfunctions. The project is a pilot project in a limited number of county municipalities. The measure is: unilateral, state financed, not NEET specific, not specific targeting people with tertiary education or any disadvantaged background.

Guaranteed NAV assistance for adapting the workplace

See table 6 – this measure is meant as an incentive for employers since extra costs related to employing people with extra needs for an adapted workplace, will be paid by the state

Apprenticeships

Students in vocational education training will often combine school and a period as apprentice (two years of school based education followed by two years of apprenticeship in a company). It might be difficult to obtain enough places for the apprentices, and companies who take on apprentices will be given economic support to cover their costs (state grant). Might be described as tripartite since employer organisations and trade unions will be active in encouraging companies to take on apprentices. State funding, general measure, not relevant for tertiary education, disadvantaged groups not specifically targeted.

2.2.11 Please provide a more detailed description of the employer incentive which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?
  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?
  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?
  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?
  • What activities are involved?
  • What are the success factors?
  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Time limited wage grants (“supported work”) are economic support to employers that employ NEETs and others who experience difficulties entering the labour market. The wage grant covers parts of the wage costs for a time limited period (max. 1 year for regular people and 3 years for people with disabilities). The aim is to motivate employers to hire people who experience difficulties entering the labour market. This is a mainstream project, and is evaluated: ECON (2001), Gir lønnstilskudd jobb? (No. 82-7645-445-3). Oslo: ECON Centre for Economic Analysis. The 2001 report finds that the long-term effect of these measures is positive. Among young persons (25 years and younger) 37% worked for the same employer 1 year after participating in the supported work scheme (i.e. employed by the same employed), whereas 26 % were employed by other employers and 16 % were in school/studies.

3. Conclusion

It is difficult to say whether “enough is done” on the problem of NEETs or not. In general Norway does not experience major problems with young people graduating without finding employment. Access to upper secondary school and to universities is good. Early school leavers and the problems this group experience as a consequence of insufficient qualifications/lack of work experience, is seen as the main NEET challenge in the Norwegian labour market. These problems are recognized and addressed.

Problems related to early school leavers and drop-outs from upper secondary school are high on the agenda. A number of measures will be implemented through the NY GIV offensive, and the importance of strengthening efforts to ensure a smooth transfer from lower to upper secondary school is recognized. A challenge is how to motivate young people with little interest in/low motivation for pursuing upper secondary education. An on-going debate is whether vocational training (which many of this group chose) is too theoretically demanding for some of the students. At the other side, it is argued that the modern work-life need highly qualified skilled workers, incl. the knowledge of languages. The focus therefor seems to be on finding alternatives for the group in danger of dropping out from school.

The Follow-up Service is supposed to follow up on all NEETs under the age of 20 years. It is still recognised that the service does not have a full overview of the targeted group, i.e. there are a considerable number of NEETs who are not registered by the Follow-up Service. Many of these will be young people with multiple challenges due to drugs, family problems etc., and will be in danger of falling outside “the system” on a permanent basis. A number of low-threshold projects exist, and these point to the fact that this group of young people is difficult to reach ant that motivating them is a time consuming process .Still the need for strengthening the Follow-up Service and to strengthen the coordination of the various relevant services are recognized.

EU level action has had little impact on Norwegian policies.

Øyvind Berge, Kaja Reegård and Kristine Nergaard, Fafo

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