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The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation into the management and use of the NAV labour market schemes

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Background and objectives of the investigation

The labour market is the most important arena to counteract poverty, as active participation in working life contributes, amongst other things, to preventing the marginalisation of vulnerable groups. The labour market schemes will strengthen the participants’ opportunities to acquire or retain work. The parliamentary funding for the labour market schemes has been approximately NOK 7-9 billion per year during the period 2010-2017. This study covers the period 2010-2016.

The aim of the study has been to evaluate the degree to which the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) manages the labour market schemes in a targeted manner, and in line with the decisions and prerequisites of the Norwegian Parliament.


Many of the participants do not find work after they have completed the labour market scheme

75 percent of people with reduced work capacity who were not registered as having a job before they started on the scheme, remained without a registered job one year after the scheme ended. Two years after the scheme finished, 65 percent were without a registered job.

The group consisting mainly of people with reduced work capacity and those receiving work assessment allowance (AAP) are least likely to make the transition to work, with an estimated probability of 17 percent after one year.

NAV has examined to varying degrees whether the labour market schemes are necessary and appropriate

The study shows that in many of the 60 reviewed cases, written documentation of participation in the labour market scheme, considered necessary and appropriate for the participant being able to obtain or retain paid work, was not provided.

A large percentage of users do not have an activity plan at start of the scheme

Amongst the participants in the scheme with reduced work capacity, approximately 45 percent did not have an activity plan at the start of the last scheme during the period 2010-2016. On average, approximately 70 percent of jobseekers do not have an activity plan.

Lack of participant follow-up from NAV’s offices

The average waiting time for people with reduced work capacity to participate in a scheme is between 6 and 11 months for the most common labour market schemes.

Weaknesses in the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Directorate of Labour and Welfare's management and reporting of the use of labour market schemes

NAV's transition statistics, using information on participants’ involvement in the labour market six months after a completed scheme, do not provide adequate information on the actual transition to work after participation in a labour market scheme. Information on the schemes’ different aims and the guidelines for the selection of the candidates is also lacking.


The Office of the Auditor General recommends that the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs:

  • Take the initiative to strengthen NAV’s work so that people with a need for work-related assistance can access necessary and appropriate schemes without undue delay.
  • Ask the Directorate of Labour and Welfare to implement measures that provide information on the degree of compliance on the part of NAV with the standard introduced in 2016 for mandatory use of an activity plan.
  • Ensure that NAV improves its follow-up of participants involved in labour market schemes, and implement measures to improve NAV's reporting of said follow-up.
  • Implement appropriate measures to further develop both the ministry and the directorate's management and reporting, so that relevant management information is obtained on the quality and results of labour market schemes.

Riksrevisjonen, Storgata 16, P.O. Box 6835 St. Olavs plass, 0130 Oslo, Norway

Phone: +47 22 24 10 00 974 760 843