Research in vocational education and training (VET) is about skills and learning in school and in workplaces. In Norway, the standard model for vocational education and training is a combination of school based education and apprenticeship training. Vocational education at the upper secondary level is a shared responsibility for the state and the social partners. This model provides opportunities, but also challenges. One challenge is to connect school based learning with learning in the workplace. Another challenge is to balance demand and supply of apprenticeships. In our research we raise questions about learning conditions in schools and in the workplace. We explore the factors affecting educational choices among young people. We study motives for recruiting apprentices in private and public companies. And we investigate the effects of different educational choices for the individual as well as for working life.
VET has been an important area of research at Fafo since the early 1990s. Three themes have dominated our research:
* School to work transitions
* Educational choices among youth
* The recruitment of apprentices and skilled workers
Fafo's research in working life and labour market issues provides a natural starting point for our research in VET. The research within this area is mainly contract research,often funded by educational authorities or by the social partners. Fafo participated in the research based evaluations of the reform of upper secondary education in the 1990s and the so-called Knowledge promotion Reform from 2006.