Apprentices and apprenticeship examinations2004


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Apprentices and apprenticeship examinations
Topic: Education

Responsible division

Division for Education Statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Enrolled students
Pupils or students that are registered at an educational institution.
Reform 94
Gives youth from 16 to 19 years old a legalised right to education at the upper secondary level. This legal right was extended in 2002 to include all age groups.
Areas of study
A common description of related subjects in upper secondary education. Upper secondary education exists of a one-year basic course, advance course I and II.
Basic requirements for higher education
Pupils who have completed and passed upper secondary education in general areas of studies meet the basic requirements for higher education. General fields of study includes courses in general, economic and management studies, music dance and drama, sports and physical education. It is also possible to meet these requirements by an additional year of general studies supplement in certain vocational studies. Occupational skills are synonymous to vocational areas of study in upper secondary education after Reform 94.

Occupational skills are synonymous to vocational areas of study in upper secondary education after Reform 94. Occupational skills can be attained normally after two years in school and two years of practical training in an organization (differs in some subject areas). Occupational skills can equally be attained after three years of vocational training in school for those who failed to get a place for practical training or those without a vocational subject. In addition, practice candidates can attain occupational skills through vocational examinations. Vocational fields of study includes courses in health and social studies, agriculture, fishing and forestry, arts, crafts and designs, hotel and food processing trades, building and construction trades, technical building, electrical trades, engineering and mechanical trades, chemical and processing trades, woodworking trades, media and communication, sales and service.

Completed education
Educational activities completed at an educational institution within a specific period and apprentices who have taken a vocational examination.

Educational activity is classified by the Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS2000) that groups different types of educations by level and field of orientation.

Municipality of residence
Is based on the registered address as of 1October the current year. Country of birth and citizenship is classified by Statistics Norway's index of countries.
Social background
Is based on parent's educational level. The parent with the highest educational level defines the social background of the pupil.

Standard classifications

The Norwegian Standard Classification of Education, which was created by Statistics Norway in 1970, groups the educational activity. The standard has been revised; the latest version is from 2000. The type of educational institution is classified by the International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities (NOS C 182).

Administrative information

Regional level

The statistics provide figures for the municipal, county and national level.

Frequency and timeliness


International reporting

The statistics is reported to the OECD in accordance with the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED97). Norway is obliged to make use of ISCDE97 in all international reporting to UNESCO, OECD and Eurostat.


All education statistics at Statistics Norway is stored in a proper, standardized manner in consultation with the Data Inspectorate.


Background and purpose

The purpose of these statistics is to collect data on apprentices and apprenticeship examinations in Norway. It is in the public interest to create as accurate data as possible for research and planning. The statistics is individually based, and report each educational activity for each pupil. All educational activities are attached to each person's Personal ID-number.

Users and applications

Important users of the education statistics are public administration, special interest organizations, the media, researchers, business and industry. Key users among the ministries are in particular, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Government, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs. The statistics is also used by international organizations such as the EU, the OECD and UNESCO.

Coherence with other statistics

Data on pupils in upper secondary education is included in the final education statistics for pupils and students in all education institutions (See "About the statistics, 04.02 Education statistics, pupils and students")

Legal authority

Sections 2-2 and 2-3 and the Ministry of Finance's delegation letter of February 13. February 1990.

EEA reference

Data are delivered pursuant to EU Community 1921/99, 1925/99, 557/98, 3711/91.



The statistics include all apprentices and pupils registered at upper secondary education under the Education Act. Pupils in this case are persons who did not get a place for practical training but undergo vocational training in school with the aim of sitting for a vocational examination. An apprentice is defined as one who has signed an apprenticeship contract and will sit for a vocational examination with practical training from a place of work. Educational statistics include also practice candidates. A practice candidate is one who has registered for a vocational examination without being an apprentice but with a considerable experience within the subject area.

Data sources and sampling

Within upper secondary education, the counties own administrative data system, VIGO, is the main source.

Survey techniques are not employed in this statistics.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Data is collected from administrative registers from the counties main enrollment system, VIGO. The main purpose of VIGO is the management of the enrolment of pupils in upper secondary. The database however contains data on all pupils registered in county upper secondary schools. Data from private upper secondary schools are also reported through VIGO. VIGO also includes vocational education, which are persons in apprenticeship training and sit for qualifying examination.

All education data undergo various on-receipt controls. It encompasses deletion of duplicates (units with identical Personal ID-number), a control of correct and valid values for each variable. The data is also recoded so they are comparable. All Personal ID-numbers are checked for errors.

The statistics is based on enumeration of the number registered pupils and apprentices and apprenticeship examinations.


The general rule is not to publish data if less than 3 pupils are found within a cell/unit in a table. This is to prevent identification of individuals within the statistics.

Comparability over time and space

Individually based education statistics was collected for the first time in 1974. Most variables are comparable, but some have changed. The Norwegian Standard Classification of Education has been revised to secure comparability over time.

Data on apprentices has been registered in education statistics since 1989/90. Previously, only pupils from apprentice schools were included. Pupils in apprentice schools have not been part of the data since 1989. Completed vocational examinations were reported to Statistics Norway from school year 1996/97. Pupils who failed vocational examinations were also included from school year 1997/98.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

A statistical investigation may be encumbered with various sorts of error. Errors may occur during the collection of data if units being investigated are not identical to the mass of units we aim at describing. Other types of error may occur during the coding the data collected.

Errors in data collected from administrative registers can be caused by uncertainties in the definition of variables and values between those responsible for the registers and others responsible for data collection from the registers.

Other sources of error can be the quality of the personal and school data in the registers or the registration process of data input into the registers. Such errors can affect the quality of the data if the control and revision processes in Statistics Norway is not comprehensive enough.

Education statistics is not based on sample surveys.