In June 2014, the Danish parliament passed a vocational education and training (VET) system reform. The reform aims to offer young people high-quality VET programmes and good opportunities for further education and training. Admission requirements and tracks for gifted students will be introduced. In addition, continuing training of teachers is a priority to improve quality of teaching.

The reform has four main objectives:

  1. increase share of students who choose initial VET programmes;
  2. increase completion rate of VET programmes;
  3. provide challenges for all students in VET programmes to reach their full potential;
  4. increase students’ wellbeing and employers’ trust in VET colleges.
Objectives will be achieved through several initiatives. Key elements for better and more attractive VET include:
  • student-centred educational environment within VET programmes, with emphasis on team-building and community and physical education as an integral part;
  • one-year basic vocational orientation course for the youngest students, centred on class groups, gradual specialisation;
  • replacing the present 12 common vocational access routes by four broad new main areas, thus postponing the student’s choice of specialisation;
  • more opportunities for VET students to receive a general upper-secondary qualification with higher education access with a VET programme (EUX);
  • minimum entry requirements in Danish and Maths defined to preempt dropout. Special vocationally-oriented catch-up programmes (EUD10) designed for those who do not meet these requirements;
  • new combined post-compulsory education programme (up to two years) targeted at young people who do not have the academic knowledge and skills needed to complete ordinary upper secondary education, leading to a title of occupation assistant in a specified job area;
  • more and improved teaching through a minimum number of specified teacher-student contact hours, and increased competence requirements for teachers;
  • continued efforts to ensure availability of apprenticeships and a stronger education guarantee, consisting of efforts to provide more work-based learning at school workshops and making students ready for internships in companies;
  • new VET programmes for adults aged 25 or older (EUV), building on their prior learning;
  • focused guidance activities, especially for those at risk of not proceeding to post-compulsory education.· 

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ReferNet Denmark.