In connection with a comprehensive structural reform, which came into effect 1 January 2007, the Public Employment Services and the municipalities’ employment efforts were merged, and vocational/careers guidance for adults (especially aimed at unemployed people) is now provided by 91 Job Centres, which cover all 98 municipalities. One of the main reasons for creating the new structure has been the wish to establish a one-stop access system, making it easier for citizens to get the employment and guidance services they need and are entitled to.
The plan focuses primarily on improving information and guidance services related to adult and further education and training. Four new initiatives will be implemented over a three-year period:
- 20 adult guidance networks which will cover the whole country. The main tasks of these networks will be 1) to provide outreach services to especially low-skilled workers at their workplace; 2) to train so-called “training ambassadors” among staff at the workplaces; 3) to establish networks among enterprises; and 4) to give advice to employers.
- A National Centre for Competence Development, the aim of which will be to document and assess the effects of initiatives and services within the field of adult and further education and training.
- An Internet-based guidance portal aimed specifically at adults and guidance practitioners working with adults. The portal will provide information about adult and further training courses and programmes and will include different tests and career planning tools as well as tools that can be used in connection with assessment of prior learning.
- A National Adult Guidance Council, which will discuss and give advice to the Minister of Education on adult guidance issues. The social partners will be represented in this council.