The Government has entered into a partnership with the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) and Norwegian companies with a view to strengthening vocational training in developing countries.
‘Through this cooperation with the business sector and the NHO we are seeking to increase employment levels and promote business development in countries where unemployment is high and where there is a need for qualified labour. Vocational training is a key here,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
There are more young people in the world today than ever before. They represent a pool of talent, energy and ideas that society should be putting to good use. A targeted effort focused on education and training can help these young people to contribute to business development and economic growth and thus become a resource rather than a challenge.
By establishing links between the business sector and schools, the aim is to develop curriculums that meet the future skills needs of employers to a greater extent. This is particularly relevant for many developing countries because of the large gap between employers’ skills needs and the knowledge and skills taught in schools.
‘In Norway we have developed successful cooperation between the business sector and the authorities, which means that vocational training is relevant and adapted to the needs of the market. Our experience is that closer cooperation between the education sector and employers helps produce school leavers who are more attractive in the job market. In developing countries where Norwegian companies have a presence, we have a unique opportunity to provide vocational training that is relevant for Norwegian companies and not least for the local business sector,’ Mr Brende said.
The partnership between the authorities, the NHO and its member companies will in the first instance be concentrated on the energy sector, a sector where there is both extensive engagement by the Norwegian business sector and broad development cooperation.
‘The Norwegian authorities can provide specialist advice and funding for building up vocational training infrastructure in developing countries in cooperation with the authorities of the countries concerned. Working together with the Norwegian business sector we are in a good position to play a leading role in promoting vocational training,’ Mr Brende said.