perhaps from basic VET education as a part of the unified upper secondary
education in Norway, VET/CVET and HRD are scattered fields of R&D in
Norway. This has to do with administration of this sector as well as with
research and development activities. Thus, there are major challenges on
a system level and its development towards more coherence. Research on
VET/HRD is carried out mainly in various research institutes and to some
extent in universities. One characteristic of this field is also that more
development work, as well as evaluation studies and surveys, are being
carried out than other, more basic research. Apart from surveys and various
monitoring studies, action research - as a research tradition with closer
links to practice - is quite common in the area of VET and in particular
of HRD in Norway.
reforms have been targeted to VET, these have mainly been about initial
skills and knowledge development. In particular the area of CVET is very
colourful, little organised, and underdeveloped in relation to the existing
need in working life and among the adult population in general. When it
comes to HRD, large amounts of money have been invested in it in private
and public sectors. The work, however, is mainly carried out by various
consultants and is poorly documented, without wider learning effects and
dissemination beyond the particular projects in question.
the last years, however, several significant political initiatives have
been taken to develop the readiness of the country and its population to
meet the challenges of the knowledge society and those regarding lifelong
learning. The government has set as one of its goals in this area to develop
Norway as a leading competence nation. Policies have been targeted both
at improving the quality of the education and training system from a lifelong
learning perspective and at competence development among the adult population
in and outside working life. The major political initiatives have been
often followed by funding for practically oriented development projects
and sometimes for research and researcher training. Public investments
in VET/HRD research in general have been low. There have been some major
programmes, but they tend to be related to major reforms concerning working
life or the world of training and education. At the moment there is only
one large R&D programme, targeted at school development (personnel
development and training, and CVET), implemented in connection with the
school reform, Knowledge Promotion 2005-2008. There are some signs of slightly
increasing interest in the private sector to invest in capacity building
and knowledge development in the working life context.
it comes to the VET/HRD sector in Norway, a dilemma situation has developed.
A lot of money has been invested in practical development work in educational
settings and in working life context, but there is only a vague VET/HRD
system (organising of VET and HRD professionals) to respond to the calls
for action in practice. The two main weaknesses in this field can be summarised
as follows: (i) lack of systemic organising in the field of VET and CVET,
and (ii) shortcomings and clear limitations in education and training within
higher education to provide professionals for the VET/HRD sector. Private
consultants and training providers are clearly among the winners under
such circumstances. Although important work is being done by these actors
too, generally speaking we can be less certain about the quality and effectiveness
of these activities.
is less need for setting up an overall policy goal and direction for VET/HRD
as these have been much discussed during the recent years and with considerable
agreement. More urgently, there is a need to invest in further development
and extension of the educational system to become more comprehensive in
regard to the coverage of the VET/CVET/HRD sector. More specifically, the
following actions should be undertaken in the future.
in higher education for training of professionals within adult education
investments in research and researcher training related to VET/HRD.
to build more coherence into the provision of CVET/HRD. This includes establishing
a responsible, cross-administrative organ for coordination and development
of this work.
- knowledge, guidance, and financial resources - to the VET/HRD providers
to develop and expand their work towards the adult population (beyond youth
and basic VET).