- 12/04/2024





Taking great strides towards sustainable competence: a Nordic conference that aims to inspire to new opportunities

Save the date: 11–12 April 2024, Sweden

Sara Kulturhus

Sara Kulturhus. Foto: Johan Wennerstrom

Welcome to two exciting days aiming at exchanging Nordic examples where education and working life meet each other. As a participant, you will gain a deeper understanding of key steps that help to ensure a sustainable and successful future, where science, technology and mathematics play an essential role in ensuring Nordic skills supply as well as promoting the region’s innovation and growth.

The conference is primarily aimed towards those representing all types of adult education, adult further training, working life and other stakeholders striving for a sustainable future with the right skills.

The Nordic region has a vision to be the world’s most sustainable and most integrated region by 2030. To reach set goals, we need to be inspired and learn from each other.

Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the vital steps that need to be taken to ensure a sustainable and successful future. Where natural science, technology and mathematics play a decisive role in ensuring Nordic competence supply and promoting the region’s innovation and growth.

The presentations will focus on the following themes:

  • Skills supply
  • Green transition/sustainability
  • Adult education
  • STEM
  • Decision makers with an interest in the field of education
  • Teachers and school leaders in adult education
  • Local business
At the conference you will have the opportunity to:

  • Gain knowledge about current issues around adult education nationally and internationally.
  • Get the opportunity to exchange experiences and create cooperation and exchange of ideas with Nordic countries in adult education.
  • Get inspiration for innovative solutions for common challenges around skills supply and the green transition.

Practical information

Recommended hotel

  1. The Wood Hotel by Elite, Skellefteå Booking link: sverigesordforandeskapskonferens – The Wood Hotel by Elite, Skelleftea Standard Twin 1469 SEK/Night (Breakfast included) Superior Double 1890 SEK/Night (Breakfast included)

Alternative hotels

  1. Comfort Hotel Skellefteå Link to Comfort hotell Bokningslänk till NVL2024 Single room 1395 SEK/Night (Breakfast included) Double room 1495 SEK/Night (Breakfast included)
  2. Best Western, Malmia, Skellefteå To book Malmia you need to email or call them. Best Western Hotel Malmia Phone 0910-73 25 00 Use code: NVL2024 Single room 1295kr SEK/Night (Breakfast included) Double room 1395 SEK/Night (Breakfast included)

Notice! A limited number of rooms are reserved in all three hotels until March 20th. All bookings after will go back to the original price.


Conference programme

Thursday April 11

Time Program Key note speaker
08:00 Registration and coffee Norra Foajén
09:00-09:15 Welcome and short introduction The Wood Hotel Moderators + David Åberg, Hotel manager
09:15-09:30 Welcome to Skellefteå Kristina Sundin Jonsson, Head of Skellefteå Municipality
09:30-10:00 Introduction by Swedish Ministry of Education and general managers from the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket),

Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education (MYH)

Katarina Lundahl,

Anna Westerholm, Magnus Wallerå

10:00-10:20 Nordic challenges and opportunities, The Nordic Council of Ministers Petar Cavala, Head of Department, The Nordic Council of Ministers
10:20-10:30 Presentation of the exhibition in Norra Foajén Moderators
10:30-11:00 Coffee break 1
11:00-11:20 Vocational Education and Training, VET, as a way to handle the competence gap in Skellefteå Simon Dahlgren, Operations manager, Skellefteå Municipality
11:20-11:40 The Norwegian Model: Sustainable Coordination of Guidance and Validation Andreas Gravdahl, Advisor, HK-Dir (NO)
11:40-12:00 Albatts project Erasmus+ from Brussels Anders Norberg, Coordinator Albatts (SE)
12.00-13.00 Lunch Location: Norra foajén
13:05-13:10 Interactive activity 1 Staffan Åkerlund, Skellefteå Municipality
13:10-13:50 Micro credentials from a Nordic perspective and best practice from Skellefteå Bodil Husted, NVL (DK)

Örjan Karlsson, Skellefteå kraft (SE)

13:50-13:55 Interactive activity 2 Staffan Åkerlund, Skellefteå Municipality
13:55-14:15 Panel – Young voices about the future Julia Forsberg + students
14:15-15:15 Artificial intelligence and its effects on skills supply and labour market Joakim Wernberg, Entreprenörskapsforum
15:15-15:45 Coffee break 2 30 min
15:45-15:50 Interactive activity 3 Staffan Åkerlund, Skellefteå Municipality
15:50-16:10 North-East Iceland’s municipalities’ effort to increase awareness and competences in sustainable and green practice among their employee Helgi Svarvarsson,Education and Training Service Center Iceland
16:10-16:40 Key competences in VET and working life – a Finnish model Tomas Björkroth, Axxell VET education, (FI)
16:40-16:45 Interactive activity 4 Staffan Åkerlund,Skellefteå Municipality
16:45-16:50 Summary Day 1 Moderators
17:00-18:00 Mingle with beverage and light snacks Norra Foajén

Friday April 12

Time Program Keynote speaker
09:00-09:05 Welcome back Moderators
09:05-09:35 European year of skills (Finland, Norway, Sweden) Digital (Teams)

Ulla-Jill Karlsson (FI)

Margrethe Marström Svensrud (NO)

Gunilla Rooke (SE)

09:35-10:05 Qualifications + Validation = Efficient and Targeted Skills Supply Anna Kahlson, coordinator SeQF/NSP EQF (MYH) & Eva Lundborg (SE)
10:05-10:10 Interactive activity 5 Staffan Åkerlund, Skellefteå Municipality
10:10-10:40 Coffee break Norra foajén
10:40-11:00 Swedish National Agency for Education and National Agency for Higher Vocational Education about collaboration between Swedish authorities Helen Myslek & Christer Bergqvist
11:00-11:05 Interactive activity 6 Staffan Åkerlund, Skellefteå Municipality
11:05-12:05 Changes in our societies from a hopeful perspective Olof Gränström, Senior social analyst at Guller’s group
12:05-12:15 Conference summary Antra Carlsen, head coordinator NVL
12.00-13.00 Lunch-to-go Location: Norra foajén
End of conference


Christer Bergqvist

Christer Bergqvist

Head of unit, Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education

Magnus Wallerå

Magnus Wallerå

Director general, Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education

Anna Westerholm

Anna Westerholm

Head of department, Swedish National Agency for education

Helen Myslek

Helen Myslek

Head of unit, Swedish National Agency for education


Olof Gränström

Olof Gränström: Exploring Intersections: The Green Transition, Skills Shortage, Demographics, and Generative AI

Join us as we delve into the complex interplay between the green transition, skills shortage, demographics, and Generative AI with esteemed presenter Olof Gränström. Olof’s life mission revolves around fostering a deeper understanding of our world through facts and has previously worked at the Swedish Foundation Gapminder with the late Professor Hans Rosling.

In this session, he will dissect how these seemingly disparate areas are intricately linked. Through his expertise, Olof will shed light on the challenges and opportunities presented by these phenomena and hopefully offer insights crucial for navigating the future landscape.

Katarina Lundahl

Katarina Lundahl

Katarina Lundahl took office as State Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Research on 11 January this year. She holds a Master of Science in Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics. At the Ministry of Education and Research, Katarina is responsible for upper secondary school, adult education, student finance, education for adults and UNESCO.

Örjan Karlsson

Örjan Karlsson

Maintenance manager at Skellefteå Krafts hydroelectric power plants. 30 years experience in electric, technical and mechanical work. 18 of those years are in the hydroelectric area.

Örjan will be talking about a competence assurance program that was developed almost 15 years ago that been used on a weekly basis for the last 10 years in the line of work. Besides to validate the competence of technicians it´s also used when recruiting new technicians. This program was migrated into micro-credentials this autumn. He will be reflecting on the things he learned over the years and give his thoughts about things to think about if a company or region is thinking of implementing micro-credentials into the organization.

Joakim Wernberg

Joakim Wernberg

Joakim Wernberg is a research leader with a focus on digitalization and technology development at the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum.

His main research interests concern the complexity and interaction between technology development and society, digitalization and urban development. Joakim has written and co-authored several reports on digitalization. He is also affiliated with Lund University Internet Institute (LUii).

Andreas Gravdahl

Andreas Gravdahl is adviser at the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills The presentation will explore both career guidance and validation strategies and practices in Norway. It will discuss the importance of different mechanisms’ response to urgent skill needs in the working life and how to tackle this in a sustainable way – both for the individual and the society.

Key themes and learning outcome: This presentation explores how adult education in Norway can be leveraged to overcome current obstacles in the workforce and foster a sustainable future. It will examine the critical role of validation and career guidance in empowering adult learners by equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge.

Participants will gain a deeper understanding of how adult education can contribute to sustainability, appreciate the significance of career guidance and validation, and learn to identify key challenges and opportunities within this evolving field.

Kristina Sundin JonssonFotograf: Jonas Westling

Kristina Sundin Jonsson

Head of Administration at Skellefteå Municipality. Kristina will welcome us all to Skellefteå and the conference. She will also talk about the fast transformation that is happening in Skellefteå right now and how that affects the Municipality, both in positive and more challenging ways.

Fotograf: Patrik Degerman

Simon Dahlgren

Director of adult education at the Education Administration at Skellefteå Municipality. Simon will talk about the record-fast green industrialization in Skellefteå has required new ways of working with competence challenges. Today, VET is used as a tool to meet the entire society’s need for innovation when it comes to bridging rapidly changing needs, languages and educational volumes to meet the skills challenges of the future.

Fotograf: Patrik Degerman

Staffan Åkerlund

Operations controller at the Education Administration at Skellefteå Municipality. Staffan will provide examples of insightful knowledge of Skellefteå and North Sweden.

Anna Kahlson

Anna Kahlson is a Coordinator NCP EQF/Senior Advisor at the Swedish national Agency for Higher Vocational Education. Anna’s presentation will focus on the necessity of valuing and putting all skills to use to better create flexible and targeted skills provision. The presentation will zoom in on how national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) and validation of prior learning (VPL) can contribute and together support both lifelong learning and re- and upskill and transitions in the labour market.

Petar Cavala

Petar Cavala is head of Department of Knowledge and Welfare in the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Secretariat. The department is responsible for implementing the decisions made by the Committee of Senior Officials for Education and Research, as well as decisions made by the Nordic Council of Ministers for Education and Research. The department also oversees Nordic Network for Adult Learning (NVL).

Previously, Petar held the position of deputy municipal director for Kristianstad municipality and served as the director of Social Development at the County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen) in Skåne.

Petars presentation will focus on the concrete initiatives and measures undertaken by the Nordic Council of Ministers take to support skills supply and competence development across the Nordic countries rooted in the Nordic Vision 20230 to become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world in by 2030.

Ulla-Jill Karlsson

Senior Ministerial Adviser Ulla-Jill Karlsson from the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland. As the second National Coordinator for the European Year of Skills Ulla-Jill will give some examples about continuous learning and how to meet the needs of working life and the skills of employees. Continuous learning is one of the Finnish priorities during the thematic year of skills and it is also as a long-term development issue.

Margrethe Marstrøm Svensrud

is head of department of working Life and skills in the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills. She is also coordinator for the European year of skills and will present some of the Norwegian measures for skills enhancement during the European Year of skills. Norway’s proactive approach to skills enhancement reflects a commitment to fostering a dynamic and adaptable workforce, equipped to meet the evolving demands of the labor market.

Gunilla Rooke

Gunilla Rooke is Director of Education at the Swedish National Agency for Education. Gunilla has a Licentiate of Engineering degree and a master’s degree in pedagogy. Together with her thesis about gender awareness in technology education she has also participated in two publications about teaching technology and challenging traditional structures in technology education. Her work at the NAE includes developing curricula for the Technology Programme in upper secondary school as well as general development in digitalisation, VET education and gender equality.

Gunillas presentation will focus on the on-going-project “Gender equality in working life” between NAE and the national trade councils. Presentation on: What´s gender equality got to do with VET? Social sustainability is essential for the green transition, a better working environment and viable companies. What efforts can the industries and the VET-educators do to become more interesting for broadened recruitment? In 2023, the Swedish National Agency for Education and the national trade councils have worked to learn more about strategies for increased gender equality.

Dr Anders Norberg

Skellefteå Municipality, is the coordinator for the ERASMUS+ ALBATTS project, a blueprint project for the development of education in the emerging European battery- and electromobility sector (21 partners in 11 countries, 2019-2024). He is an active researcher in ICT-integrated learning and education logistics, a Batteries Europe expert member, and the Vice President of the Pact-for-Skills partnership “Automotive Skills Alliance”. He is a former teacher in upper-secondary school in Swedish, Religion and Philosophy and a school leader.

Anders worked many years as an education strategist for developing the multi-institutional Campus Skellefteå. He specializes in developing new education for new needs together with universities, often with the support of EC projects – as presently in the ALBATTS project.

Helgi Þ. Svavarsson

Helgi Þ. Svavarsson is the country co-ordinator for Iceland in NVL and a project manager at SÍMEY – a lifelong learning centre in Akureyri, North Iceland

Helgi will talk about the LOFTUM project, which is a pioneering initiative aimed at enhancing environmental and climate change knowledge among municipal staff and elected officials in Northeast Iceland. The project focuses on implementing an educational plan based on a detailed analysis conducted in 2022-2023. With a comprehensive approach covering various aspects such as planning, energy, waste management, and more, LOFTUM serves as a long-term digital school, facilitating ongoing learning and professional development. The project addresses the complexity of environmental issues but also sets a precedent for future educational projects in the country.

Tomas Björkroth

Tomas Björkroth

Head of Unit/ Vice Rector at Axxell VET Education

I work as head of unit for two units in Axxell (Natural Resources, Horticulture and Handicraft). Sustainability issues in our organization are also my responsibility. I look forward to discussing key competences for lifelong learning and presenting how we at Axxell VET Education work with these competences.


Två separata bilder på två män fotade i studiomiljö.

Konferens om kompetensförsörjning för ett hållbart samhälle

Missa inte konferensen “Taking great strides towards sustainable competence” 11-12 april i Skellefteå där talare som Olof Gränström och Simon Dahlgren delar insikter om att använda data för att förstå samhällets förändringar och anpassa utbildningarna efter företagens behov.

Læs mere her

The organisers are:

The Nordic Network for Adult Learning (NVL) in collaboration with the Swedish National Agency for Education and the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education (MYH) and Skellefteå municipality are the organisers of the Nordic conference.

EYS Logo
Myndigheten för yrkeshögskolan logo
Skellefteåkommun färg Logo
Skolverket Logo
Co-funded by the European Union

Find vej

Sara kulturhus, Skellefteå

Sara kulturhus, Skellefteå

Share This