7.8 Working life and completion rates

73 per cent of pupils who started upper secondary education or training in 2008, completed upper secondary within the theoretical duration plus two years. This figure has remained stable for a long time despite political aims targeted at increasing the completion ration. Completion within two years after the stipulated time frame does not tell the whole story, however. Many young people are still in training at that stage, and after 10 years the completion rate increases to 78 per cent. Norway also offers good opportunities for returning to education and completing the programme as adults. This means there are more 35-year-olds than 25-year-olds in Norway who have completed upper secondary education or training.

Completing upper secondary plays a part in preparing to meet employment criteria and improving the chances of actively participating in the labour market. Those who fail to complete upper secondary education or training find it more difficult to get work. At the same time, Norway is one of the OECD countries with the lowest proportion of young adults not in education, employment or training.

Employment rates in Norway are high, and there is a link between the state of the labour market and drop-out rates on vocational study programmes, according to a new survey (von Simson 2016). The likelihood of upper secondary pupils discontinuing their education is higher during periods when it is easier to find work. In 2014 more than half of all young people not in upper secondary education or training were employed.