Reference year 2019

    Understanding of apprenticeships in the national context

    Q2. Is there an official definition of ‘apprenticeship’ or ‘apprentice’ in your country?
    Yes
    No

    The VET Law (paragraph 2) defines VET in Denmark as alternance-based, consisting of periods in school and in placements in enterprises. Details about curriculum, duration, remuneration etc. are decided for each programme by the social partners in the so-called trade committees. 

    Q3. At which level do apprenticeship schemes exist in your country?
    At upper secondary level
    At post-secondary (not tertiary)
    At tertiary level
    At sectoral level

    All IVET programmes (EQF level 3-4) are carried out as apprenticeship (lærlingeuddannelser) in upper secondary education. 

    A. Mainstream apprenticeship start with a foundation period of 40 weeks at a VET school, after which a specific programme is decided and an apprenticeship contract is signed with an enterprise. 
    Students who are not able to secure an apprenticeship contract with an enterprise may be trained instead in the so-called “placements centres” which are attached to their vocational school. For some learners, practical training may also be undertaken partly or entirely in a production school (produktionsskolebaseret erhvervsuddannelse, https://eng.uvm.dk/upper-secondary-education/production-schools).

    B. There are two variations besides mainstream apprenticeships:
    1.  Programme EUX: since 2011 it has been possible to take an apprenticeship programme within a number of professions, which at the same time confers both journeyman’s qualification and qualifications from upper secondary general education that allows access to higher education (EUX). This variety of mainstream apprenticeships is of a slightly longer duration due to extended school periods. Approximately 1,500 apprentices were enrolled in EUX in 2014 (approximately 3% of all IVET students/apprentices).
    2.    ‘New master apprenticeship programme’ Ny mesterlære': apprentices who already from the beginning have a clear idea of what they want, may choose to sign an apprenticeship directly with an enterprise rather than starting with a foundation period at a VET school. They thus start training with an enterprise immediately and in a specific programme. After a year in the enterprise, they are assessed to check if they have the required level of knowledge, skills and competences, and they continue their programme alongside mainstream apprentices.

    Q4. How well-established are apprenticeship schemes in your country?
    A long history (before 2000)
    A recent history (in 2000s)
    Pilot scheme

    Since medieval times, apprenticeships have been the dominant form of VET. In 1956, most VET programmes became alternance-based, with periods of school based and periods of work-based training.

    Q5. Relevant information that is essential to understanding the specificity of apprenticeships in the country and which does not fit under the scheme specific sections below.

    Employers with more than five employees must contribute to the so-called Employers Reimbursement Scheme (Arbejdsgivernes Uddannelsesbidrag - AUB) irrespective of whether they have apprentices or not. The funds are used to compensate employers with apprentices for the extra costs they have for this (e.g. wages of apprentices during school periods).
    Funds from the AUB are also used to finance the PIU-scheme (Praktik I Udlandet) which gives apprentices (also VET students who have not yet signed an apprenticeship contract) the possibility to do part or all of their placements abroad. Apprentices may receive grants of up to DKK 32,000 (EUR 4,300) per year. The law on VET makes it possible to recognise this as an integral part of their apprenticeship.
    Basic vocational training (Erhvervsgrunduddannelse/EGU) is a lower-secondary scheme for young people who are not able to enter mainstream VET (i.e. apprenticeship) via other lower secondary programmes. It is alternance-based and lasts for two years. It uses work placements that are remunerated, but EGU confers no formal qualifications on the participants. 
    Other types of workplace training are used in higher VET programmes (academy professions programmes, KVU, EQF level 4-5: one or two semesters in a company) and in Vocational bachelor programmes (EQF level 4-6: two to four periods in a company). In these programmes, most students go to different workplaces during their education.

    Understanding of apprenticeships in the national context

    Q1. Is there an official definition of 'apprenticeships' in your country?
    Yes
    No

    § 2 in Law on VET defines VET in Denmark as alternance-based, consisting of periods in school and in placement enterprises. Details about curriculum, duration, remuneration etc. are decided for each programme by the social partners in the so called trade committees. 

    Q2. Which apprenticeship schemes exist in your country?
    At upper secondary level: Yes
    At post-secondary / higher level
    At sectoral level

    All IVET-programmes are carried out as apprenticeship training (lærlingeuddannelser) in upper secondary education. After a foundation period of 40 weeks at a VET-school, they decide on the specific programme and sign an apprenticeship contract with an enterprise. Students who are not able to conclude an apprenticeship contract may be trained instead in so called “placements centres” which are attached to the vocational school. For some learners, practical training may also be undertaken partly or entirely in a production school (produktionsskolebaseret erhvervsuddannelse).

    There are two variations besides mainstream apprenticeships:

    1. EUX: since 2011 it has been possible to take an apprenticeship programme within a number of professions, which at the same time confers both journeyman’s qualification and qualifications from upper secondary general education (EUX). This variety of mainstream apprenticeships is of a slightly longer duration due to extended school periods. Enrolment for EUX was app. 1500 in 2014.
    2. Ny mesterlære: apprentices who already from the beginning have a clear idea of what they want, may choose to sign an apprenticeship directly with an enterprise rather than starting with a foundation period at a VET-school. They thus start training with an enterprise immediately and in a specific programme. After a year in the enterprise, they are assessed to check if they have the required level of knowledge, skills and competences, and they continue their programme alongside mainstream apprentices. 

    Apprenticeship is not used at other levels in the educational system.

    Basic vocational training (Erhvervsgrunduddannelse/EGU) is a scheme for young people who are not able to enter mainstream VET. It is alternance-based and lasts for 2 years. Placements are remunerated, but EGU confers no formal qualifications on the participants. 

    Q5. How well-established are apprenticeships in your country?
    A long history
    A recent history (in 2000s)
    No history yet, they are still to be established as a pathway

    Since medieval times, apprenticeships have been the dominant form of VET.

    Q6. Additional information to understand the specificity of apprenticeships in the country

    All employers with more than 5 employees must contribute to the so called Employers Reimbursement Scheme (Arbejdsgivernes Uddannelsesbidrag - AUB) irrespective of whether they have apprentices or not. The funds are used to compensate employers with apprentices for the extra costs they have for this (e.g. wages of apprentices during school periods).

    Funds from the AUB are also used to finance the PIU-scheme (Praktik I Udlandet) which gives apprentices (also VET-students who have not yet signed an apprenticeship contract) the possibility to do part or all of their placements abroad. Apprentices may receive grants of up to DKK 32,000 (EUR 4,300) per year. The law on VET makes it possible to recognise this as an integral part of their apprenticeship.