No. 13 of 23 May 1980 concerning vocational training
With amendments of 2 March 1984 and 21 June 1985
The scope of the Act
What the Act concerns - its purpose
This Act concerns systematic vocational training.
This Act aims to promote the development of skill in, understanding of and responsibility in craftsmanship in relation to craft, occupation and society.
This Act contains provisions concerning the rights and duties of apprentices and establishments, concerning the cooperation of employees' and employers' associations in the design and implementation of the training, and concerning the duties of the counties and the state in respect of the promotion of vocational training.
This Act contains provisions concerning the craft examination and the journeyman's examination and a number of provisions concerning apprentices school. The Act also contains a number of provisions concerning training beyond this level.
Apprentices school otherwise comes under Act No. 55 of 21 June 1974 concerning Upper Secondary Education.
Crafts under the Act
The King may on the submission of joint proposals by nation-wide associations which are parties to a pay agreement in the sector and on the advice of the National Council for Vocational Training determine that an area of work shall be included as a craft area under this Act.
The Ministry may likewise determine which crafts come under the craft area concerned.
The King may determine that areas of work for which there are no parties to a pay agreement may be included under the Act on the advice of the National Council for Vocational Training.
Similarly it may be resolved that a craft shall no longer be subject to this Act.
The National Council for Vocational Training takes the initiative to the extent that it is necessary in getting new crafts included under this Act.
Who is an apprentice and who
may have apprentices
Who is an apprentice
Any person who before reaching the age of 20, without being of compulsory school age, cf. § 13 of Act No. 24 of 13 June 1969 concerning Primary and Lower Secondary Education, is engaged to carry out work in crafts which are subject to this Act, and who has not previously undergone an apprenticeship in a craft under the Act is deemed to be an apprentice.
No person is deemed to be an apprentice who:
1. is engaged to carry out tasks which because of the distribution of labour in the place of work are so special that they do not require craft training.
2. is engaged to prepare for or to supplement schooling (practical placement scheme).
Any person who is over the age of 20 or who has undergone an apprenticeship in another craft may voluntarily become an apprentice pursuant to this Act.
Any doubt as to whether a person shall be deemed to be an apprentice is to be resolved by the Vocational Education Committee (§ 7). An appeal against the decision may be made in the normal manner to the National Council for Vocational Training (§ 5).
Approval of training establishments
The terms training establishment and establishment, training office and training circle are used as follows in this Act:
1. Training establishment and establishment mean any individual firm, combine, public service or institution, training office or training circle which engages apprentices.
2. Training office: a body to promote cooperation between several establishments which together assume responsibility for training. The contract of apprenticeship is signed with the apprentice and the training office as parties. The apprentice receives his or her training in a member establishment or in different establishments in periods.
3. Training circle: Two or more establishments which enter into an agreement to cooperate in jointly assuming the responsibility for training an apprentice or apprentices. The contract of apprenticeship is signed with the apprentice and the principally responsible training establishment as parties.
Training establishments shall be approved by the Vocational Education Committee, which may also deprive an establishment of the right to have apprentices. Any training establishment which takes on the training of one or more apprentices must be able to provide training that meets the requirements of the training plan and have a qualified person who is in charge of the training (training manager).
A school may contribute to the organisation and training within a training circle or a training office but not assume employer's responsibility for any apprentice.
The Ministry may issue more detailed rules concerning the conditions for approving training establishments.
Supervision and administration
The National Council for Vocational Training
To assist the Ministry with advice and initiative, to perform the tasks that are specially assigned to the Council pursuant to this Act, and to exercise supervision with respect to the implementation of the Act and provisions issued pursuant thereto, the King appoints a council, the National Council for Vocational Training. More than half of the members shall represent the world of work with the employers and employees having an equal number of representatives.
The composition and functions of the Council are laid down by the King in regulations. In these regulations rules may also be laid down concerning the delegation of authority.
The Council is the appellate body for decisions made by the vocational education committees and the training councils.
For each craft or craft area there shall be a training council. On the advice of the National Council for Vocational Training the Ministry decides which training councils shall be established.
The training council shall have an equal number of representatives of the employers and the employees, appointed on the advice of the craft associations. The training council shall in addition have at least one member with a good knowledge of the school system.
The training council is appointed by the National Council for Vocational Training. Its term of office is four years. The chairman and vice-chairman are elected by and from the representatives of the associations for two years.
The training councils shall produce proposals for training plans which cover the practical training and essential elements and frameworks for the theoretical training. They shall produce proposals for regulations for the craft examination (journeyman's examination) in the individual crafts and questions for the theoretical part of the examination. They may also produce plans for training beyond the craft and journeyman's examinations.
The training council shall keep itself informed of developments in the craft areas at work and at school and give advice on basic vocational education, in-service training and continuing education in the craft.
The Ministry lays down the regulations for the training councils.
Vocational education committees and
In each county there shall be a vocational education committee which has the administrative responsibility for the implementation of the provisions of the Act within the county municipality. The committee is appointed by the county council. The county council may delegate this appointment to the county executive board.
The committee shall have seven (7) members with personal alternates. One member is appointed in accordance with a proposal from the County Employment and Economic Development Committee, two on the advice of the employees' associations and two on the advice of the employers' associations. One member is appointed on the advice of the County Education Committee. In addition one apprentice representative shall be appointed. The term of office of the committee is the same as that of the county council. The chairman and vice-chairman are appointed for two years at a time.
The vocational education committee shall oversee the implementation of the Act. The committee has a responsibility for development and shall take the initiative in the promotion of vocational training. The committee shall have its own secretariat with a chief executive. The secretariat shall on behalf of the committee oversee the implementation of the provisions of the Act.
The committee shall provide advice and information for the county municipality in matters which concern vocational training at work and in the upper secondary school. The committee shall cooperate with the county school authorities and with the manpower authorities. The chief county employment officer and the chief county education officer have the right to be present at the meetings of the committee and to have their views recorded in the minutes.
The committee shall appoint advisory vocational committees for the individual craft or craft area or use the examination board as a vocational committee. The Ministry may lay down regulations for the composition and functions of the vocational committees.
The vocational education committee distributes state and any county grants to training establishments. The committee may also be required by county or state to perform other tasks connected with vocational training.
The committee reports to the National Council for Vocational Training and the Ministry on its activities and on measures of importance to vocational training.
The Ministry issues more detailed rules on the committee's activities, including rules concerning which tasks may be delegated to the secretariat.
Oslo municipality has the rights and duties which in this Act are assigned to the county municipalities, and Oslo Municipal Education Committee has the rights and duties which are assigned to the county education committee.
Superintendence in the individual organisation
A representative or representatives of the employees shall together with the training manager oversee that within the individual establishment:
1. the establishment's training opportunities are satisfactory,
2. contracts of apprenticeship are drawn up,
3. the training plans for the crafts are followed and
4. the apprentices are allowed to attend the obligatory school teaching.
Members of councils, committees and
Any person who is appointed or elected a member of the National Council for Vocational Training, a training council, a vocational education committee, a local vocational committee, an examination board or an appeals board is under an obligation to take office. Members may nevertheless demand to be exempted from re-appointment for the same period of time as they have served continuously. Any person who has reached the age of 60 may demand to be exempted.
Members of the county boards and committees have the right to travel and subsistence allowances for necessary journeys and to remuneration for work performed in accordance with the scales for county municipalities. In addition documented loss of earnings is covered in accordance with the scale in force.
Contract of apprenticeship. The rights
and duties of apprentices and establishments
Probation and contract of apprenticeship
The apprenticeship is initiated with a probationary period of six months. In the course of this probationary period a written contract shall be entered into and sent to the vocational education committee.
The Ministry lays down rules for the content and form of the contract. The contract shall lay down reductions in the period of apprenticeship in accordance with the rules issued pursuant to § 18, second paragraph, cf. § 15, and any credit for other previous experience. To be valid the contract must be approved by the vocational education committee, and it then takes effect from the date of appointment.
If the apprentice is under the age of 18, the signature of his or her guardian is also required when a contract of apprenticeship is entered into. The same applies to any subsequent changes in the conditions of apprenticeship.
During the probationary period both the establishment and the apprentice may terminate the apprenticeship with 14 days' notice. § 63 of the Working Environment Act applies even if the apprentice has not been appointed in writing with a specified probationary period.
For persons who have a limited capacity for work by reason of physical and/or mental disability the National Council for Vocational Training may consent to deviating contractual conditions being laid down.
If the vocational education committee refuses to approve the contract, an appeal against the decision may be made within three weeks to the National Council for Vocational Training.
The rights and duties of the establishment
1. Training in the establishment shall take place in accordance with a prescribed training plan. On appointment the apprentice shall be made aware of the training plan and the regulations for the craft examination or journeyman's examination for the craft. The establishment shall see to it that the apprentice is given the training that is necessary to achieve the prescribed aims. It shall place emphasis upon the creation of a good environment for work and training.
2. The establishment shall register the apprentice for the obligatory school teaching and give the apprentice the necessary free time for this. The apprentice's working hours and school hours shall together not exceed the number of working hours applying to other employees in the craft.
3. In those crafts in which the craft examination (journeyman's examination) is laid down, the establishment registers the apprentice for the examination which is held nearest to the date of expiry of the period of apprenticeship. The establishment provides the necessary workplace, materials, tools, equipment, and assistant(s) and gives the apprentice full pay while the examination is being taken. The product becomes the property of the establishment.
4. If the establishment discontinues or develops in such way that it no longer finds it possible to give the apprentice satisfactory training, the establishment shall inform the vocational education committee of this, cf. § 15, last paragraph.
The rights and duties of the apprentice
1. The apprentice has the right to receive the practical and theoretical training which the training plan lays down. An apprentice according to § 3, first paragraph, shall by the expiry of the period of apprenticeship have undergone the prescribed school teaching.
2. The apprentice shall actively take advantage of the training opportunities at work and contribute to the creation of a good working environment and of good conditions for cooperation.
3. The apprentice must in crafts in which the craft or journeyman's examination is laid down sit for the examination which is held nearest to the date of expiry of the period of apprenticeship.
Concerning schooling and the theoretical part
of the craft examination
Before the craft examination may be taken the apprentice shall have passed in the compulsory theoretical subjects which are prescribed for the craft with satisfactory results. The vocational education committee may in special cases grant dispensations from the requirement concerning examination passes.
The theoretical part of the craft examination may be taken before the period of apprenticeship, after basic courses and advanced courses, or during the period of apprenticeship after part-time instruction or a continuous course in apprentices school. The school shall inform the establishment of any absence from apprentices school. Other supplementary school teaching during the period of apprenticeship may also be given. On more detailed agreement between the apprentice and the establishment the apprentice may take other courses at school during the period of apprenticeship.
The Ministry may issue provisions concerning a central apprentices school in certain crafts on the advice of the training council for the craft and the National Council for Vocational Training.
Apprentices school is otherwise a part of the upper secondary school pursuant to Act No. 55 of 21 June 1974 concerning upper secondary education. Syllabus plans for apprentices school are laid down by the Ministry on the basis of training plans for the individual crafts and syllabus plans in the upper secondary school.
Apprentices have the right to use the educational/ psychological advisory service which has been established in the county pursuant to the aforesaid Act.
Any apprentice who must travel away to attend a course of continuous duration of up to half a year is entitled to reimbursement in accordance with the same scales as apply to labour market courses.
The Ministry may on the advice of the training council and the National Council for Vocational Training lay down that a completed course with passed examination or other equivalent education may be recognised as the theoretical part of the craft examination for any candidate taking the examination pursuant to § 20, first paragraph.
Any person who grossly neglects his or her responsibility for providing training, or who appoints an apprentice without entering into a written contract of apprenticeship or fails to submit the contract of apprenticeship to the vocational education committee for approval may be liable to the penalty of a fine or fines.
If the offence is committed by any person acting on behalf of a company, a foundation, a combine or public organisation, a fine may be imposed upon the organisation even if no individual may be punished pursuant to the first paragraph. § 28 of the Criminal Code does not apply to fines imposed pursuant to this paragraph.
Changes in the contractual obligations
Changes in the training situation
With the consent of the vocational education committee:
1. the establishment and the apprentice may agree to extend the period of apprenticeship by up to one year.
2. the establishment may extend the period of apprenticeship by up to one year if this is found to be necessary because of the apprentice's absence.
3. the establishment and the apprentice may in special cases have the period of apprenticeship reduced.
If the training establishment discontinues or no longer fulfils the conditions for approval pursuant to § 4, or the vocational education committee finds that the training is not satisfactory, the committee shall assist in procuring for the apprentice a new training post for the rest of the period of apprenticeship. The new establishment will in this case enter into the contract of apprenticeship in the former establishment's stead. If the apprentice has received inadequate training, the period of apprenticeship in the new establishment may with the consent of the vocational education committee be extended by up to one year.
Rescission of a contract of apprenticeship
The contract of apprenticeship may be rescinded by the parties if they agree thereto. The establishment sends notification to the vocational education committee.
With the consent of the vocational education committee the contract may be rescinded by either the establishment or the apprentice if:
1. the other party is guilty of serious breaches of his or her duties at work,
2. the apprentice or the establishment proves to be incapable of continuing the training,
3. the apprentice declares in writing that it would be an unreasonable inconvenience for him or her to continue until the end of the period of apprenticeship.
The rules concerning dismissal pursuant to § 66 of Act No. 4 of 4 February 1977 concerning worker protection and the working environment do not apply in these cases. The vocational education committee decides in such cases when the apprenticeship shall cease.
The training establishment shall issue a certificate for the part of the period of apprenticeship completed with a description of the nature of the work performed.
The apprentice is an employee of the establishment with the rights and duties that follow from legislation and pay agreements.
At the end of the period of apprenticeship, cf. § 11(3), § 12(3) and § 19 second paragraph, each of the parties may terminate the employment by notice. § 58(1), § 58(7) and § 59 of Act No. 4 of 4 February 1977 concerning worker protection and the working environment apply correspondingly.
Notice shall be in writing.
Craft examination/journeyman's examination
Training plans, period of apprenticeship and
On the advice of the relevant training council and on the advice of the National Council for Vocational Training the Ministry lays down training plans and examination regulations for the crafts.
On the advice of the training councils the National Council for Vocational Training lays down the period of apprenticeship for the different crafts within a framework of 2 to 5 years and rules for reductions that may be granted in the period of apprenticeship on the basis of completed schooling, courses or other vocational training, including labour market training.
On the advice of the training council and the National Council for Vocational Training the Ministry may grant approval for a training plan to be based on partly completed vocational education at school or courses.
On the advice of the training council and having heard the views of the National Council for Vocational Training the Ministry may grant approval for experiments with training in accordance with a temporary training plan.
Craft examination (journeyman's examination)
The craft examination (journeyman's examination) consists of a theoretical and a practical part. The theoretical part is deemed to have been taken if the candidate has passed an examination after completing theoretical education as mentioned in § 13.
If the apprentice does not pass the craft examination (journeyman's examination), the period of apprenticeship shall be extended. After six months a new examination is taken. The establishment shall during the extended period of apprenticeship provide the necessary supplementary training. The vocational education committee may in special cases grant dispensations from this time limit. If the apprentice does not pass this last examination, the period of apprenticeship is deemed to have been completed, but the apprentice is not considered to be skilled in the craft. The establishment shall in such cases give the apprentice a certificate containing information concerning the duration of the apprenticeship and the nature of the work.
The vocational education committee issues craft certificates (journeyman's certificates) on the basis of passes in the craft examination (journeyman's examination).
After hearing the views of the training council for the relevant craft or craft area, the National Council for Vocational Training may approve full vocational training from another country as equivalent to Norwegian vocational training.
Taking the examination without any
contract of apprenticeship
The craft examination (journeyman's examination) may be taken without any contract of apprenticeship by those who have not less than 25% longer general practice in the craft than the period of apprenticeship. The vocational education committee decides whether the practice claimed may be recognised.
The National Council for Vocational Training may on the advice of the training council grant approval for the craft examination (journeyman's examination) to be taken on the basis of full vocational training at school.
If the examination is not passed, further practice of no less than 6 months' duration is required before a new examination can be taken.
The vocational education committee may in quite special cases grant dispensations from the requirement concerning additional practice pursuant to the first and third paragraphs.
Administration of examinations
The county has the responsibility of ensuring that craft examinations (journeyman's examinations) are held for apprentices and other examination candidates.
The vocational education committee appoints one or if necessary several examination boards for the individual craft in which there are examination candidates.
The Ministry may in certain crafts approve the appointment of a joint examination board for several counties or for the whole country. The appointment is made by the National Council for Vocational Training.
The board shall have three members with personal alternates. Two of the members must have vocational training in the craft concerned and are appointed on the recommendation of the local craft associations. The third member should have experience of teaching or supervisory work.
The period of office is four years. Among the members the chairman and vice-chairman are appointed for the same period.
Appeals against the assessment of the examination
Any person who does not pass the craft examination (journeyman's examination) may appeal against the decision the examination board has made.
The appeal is decided by an appeals board with three members, appointed by the National Council for Vocational Training on the recommendation of the training council for the craft. Two of the members of the appeals board must have vocational training.
Members with personal alternates are appointed for four years at a time.
The chairman and vice-chairman are appointed for the same period.
The appeals board shall either change the decision the examination board has made from "fail" to "pass" or dismiss the appeal.
Regulations for the procedure in and treatment of appeal cases are laid down by the Ministry.
Training establishments receive grants from the state in accordance with scales which are laid down by the Storting and rules which are laid down by the Ministry.
The state gives grants to county vocational education committees. The grant is laid down by the Storting.
Commencement and transitional provisions
This Act comes into force from the day the King decides. From the same date Act No. 5 of 14 July 1950 concerning apprentices in crafts, industry, retail distribution, warehousing and office work is repealed.
Those crafts which today come under Act No. 5 of 14 July 1950 concerning apprentices in crafts, industry, retail distribution, warehousing and office work are included under the new Act.
Contracts of apprenticeship established before the commencement of this Act are to be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Act concerning apprentices in crafts, industry, retail distribution, warehousing and office work.
The King may determine that the provisions of § 7 shall come into force at a later date.
Boards and committees appointed pursuant to Act No. 5 of 14 July 1950 concerning apprentices continue their activities and exercise their functions according to the present Act until they are replaced by boards and committees pursuant to provisions in the new Act.
The King may determine that the provisions concerning the rights of apprentices to schooling shall come into force from a later date.
Royal Decree of 23 May 1980
In pursuance of § 25 of the Vocational Training Act the said Act is to be put into effect from 1 January 1981 with the exception of the provision concerning the right of apprentices to schooling pursuant to § 12(1), which is to be put into effect from 1 January 1982, cf. § 25 last paragraph.
(By Royal Decree of 20 November 1981 it is laid down that the provision concerning the right of apprentices to schooling pursuant to § 12(1) is to be put into effect from 1 June 1982.)