1Target group

Q7. What is the target group of this scheme?
Young people in initial vocational education and training (15-16 year-olds)
Young adults in education and training (above 16 year-olds)
Other (please specify in the description)

The main target group are young people who have completed the 9th or the 10th grade in lower secondary education (compulsory schooling finishes at the 9th grade, but most pupils take an optional 10th year before moving on). This target group will be between 16-17 years of age, but many wait till later to enrol – the average age of enrolment is nearly 21.


Adult learners may enter VET and do an apprenticeship. A system for the accreditation of prior learning (realkompetencevurdering) ensures that previous practical experience and educational achievements are taken into account and the total length of their learning trajectory shortened. 

Q8. What is the age of learners?
Between 15 and 18
Between 18 and 24
Above 24

The main target group are in the age bracket aged 16-17, but many enrol at a later age. A distinction is made between mainstream and adult VET, but all programmes are organised as apprenticeships

2Overview of the scheme

Q9. Is the scheme included in the ISCED 2011 mapping?

Programme number 353.10/level 353.

Q10 - Is the scheme part of the VET system?
Yes, it is the main route in the VET system
Yes, but it is considered a second-chance route
No, it is an alternative pathway outside of formal VET

Apprenticeship is the dominant form of IVET.

Q11 - When was the scheme introduced?
Long history (before 2000)
Recently introduced (between 2000-2012)
New pathway (after 2012)

Apprenticeships were introduced in medieval times.

Q12 - How did the apprenticeship scheme originate?
traditional craftsmanship (master-apprentice relation) to prepare apprentices for the occupation
school-based VET track by including more work-based learning to supply skilled workforce to match labour market needs
programmes for the unemployed (active labour market measures) to facilitate integration on the labour market

Apprenticeships were used by the ancient guilds to train craftsmen. When the guilds were abolished in the 19th century, apprenticeship remained as the way of delivering vocational qualifications.

Q13 - What are the major sources of financing of the in-company training part of the apprenticeship scheme?
By companies hosting apprentices
By employers through sectoral funds
By the state from the education budget
By the state from the labour / social security budget
By EU funding

Employers with apprentices are required to pay the apprentice’s wages during the apprenticeship. All enterprises (also those without apprentices) have to contribute to a common fund (AUB), which compensates employers with apprentices for extra costs incurred (e.g. wages of apprentices during school periods, when they are not available to the enterprise).

Q14 - Are there any financial incentives for companies that offer apprenticeship places?
Yes, subsidies
Yes, tax deductions
Yes, other incentives
No financial incentives
Q15 - Is the scheme temporary, meaning that it is financed for a limited period of time?
Q16. How many learners are enrolled in this scheme?

According to the statistics of the Ministry of Education, 49,932 learners enrolled in IVET in 2014 (http://statweb.uni-c.dk/Databanken/uvmDataWeb/ShowReport.aspx?report=EAK-tilgang-erhudd). 

Q17 - How many learners are enrolled in this scheme in relation to all VET students?
the main VET track (majority of VET learners - more than 60% of VET learners)
strong VET track (important share of VET learners - between 30%-60%)
minor track (small share of learners - between 10% and 30%)
very small track (less than 10%)
Apprentices are not considered as learners (they are employees)

All IVET-programmes are organised as apprenticeships.

Q18 - How many learners are enrolled in the scheme in relation to all programmes for learners of the same age group?
the main track (majority of learners - more than 60% of all learners)
strong track (important share of all learners - between 30%-60%)
minor track (small share of learners - between 10% and 30%)
very small track (less than 10%)

According to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Education, 18.4% of all those leaving compulsory education (9th or 10th form) opted for IVET. Nearly 75% opted for upper secondary general education (https://www.uvm.dk/Service/Statistik/Statistik-om-folkeskolen-og-frie-skoler/Statistik-om-elever-i-folkeskolen-og-frie-skoler/Statistik-over-tilmelding-til-ungdomsuddannelserne-for-9,-d-,-og-10,-d-,-klasse-(FTU)

Q19 - Does the apprenticeship scheme result in a qualification?


Q20 - Which is the type of qualification obtained through the apprenticeship scheme?
Educational qualification
Occupational / sectoral qualification



Q21 - Is the qualification included in the National Qualification Framework (NQF)
There is no NQF

IVET qualifications are generally at level 4 of the NQF.

Q23 - Does the scheme provide direct access to higher education?

Learners with qualifications from IVET will as a rule have to take supplementary courses to enrol in higher education. The exception to this is the EUX variety of apprenticeships, which also confers general upper secondary qualifications.


Q24. What is the duration of the VET pathway? (please refer to the typical duration)
4 years

Most programmes are of a duration of around 4 years, but there are some that last 3 years while some others can last 5 years.

Q25 - How is the length of stay in apprenticeships defined in the regulation?
Is defined as minimum and maximum
Is defined as minimum
Is defined as maximum
Is not defined by regulation

The Law on VET (Lov om Erhvervsuddannelser) stipulates that IVET programmes “as a rule cannot exceed 4 years and 6 months". Still, there are some programmes with longer duration. 

Q26 - Is there a distinction between the training and working period for the time spent at workplace, as per regulation?
Yes, the legal framework makes this distinction
No, the legal framework makes no distinction

The Law on VET contains no prescriptions for the length of time spent at school and in the enterprise. This is decided by the social partners in the Trade Committees.

5Alternation of work-based (in-company) training and school-based training

Q27 - Is in-company training a compulsory part of the scheme, as per regulation?

Apprenticeship is the dominant form of IVET. Only in very exceptional cases is it possible to achieve qualifications at IVET-level by other means. Learners who are not able to conclude an apprenticeship contract with an enterprise may receive the practical parts of their training in so called placement centres (skolepraktikcentre), which have been set up in connection with the vocational schools. This is meant to emulate enterprise training, however, and enrolment only happens when all possibilities for a normal apprenticeship contract are exhausted.

Q29 - What is the form of alternation of training between workplace (company) and school / training centre?
Every week includes both venues
One or more weeks (less than 1 month) spent at VET school followed by one or more weeks at workplace
One or more months (less than 1 year) spent at VET school followed by one or more months at workplace
A longer period (1-2 years) spent at VET school followed by a longer period spent training at workplace
Various - depends on VET school / training centre
Not specified

The apprenticeship system is built on block release, where apprentices spend periods of up to one year in the enterprises, and have school periods of up to 3 months (apart from the initial period (grundforløbet) which is entirely school-based and may last up to 40 weeks.

6Formal relationship with the employer

Q30 - Is any contractual arrangement between the learner, company and/or education and training provider, required as per regulation?

The learner concludes an apprenticeship contract with the enterprise. The vocational school approves the contract, but is not a signatory part.

Q31 - Which parties enter a contractual relationship?
Learner and employer
Learner, employer and the education and training institution
Education and training institution and the employer (not the learner)
No contract is required

The learner concludes an apprenticeship contract with the enterprise. The vocational school approves the contract, but is not a signatory part.

Q32 - What is the nature of the contract?
Apprenticeships are a specific contract covered by the Labour Code
Apprenticeships are a form of employment contract
Formal agreement, not covered by the Labour Code

The apprentice has the status of an employee at the enterprise.

Q33 - Where is the contract registered?
At the education and training institution
At the employment office
At the chambers
At the Ministry of education

The learner’s vocational school approves the contract (checks that all formalities are OK) and registers the contract.  

Q34 - What is the status of the learner?
Apprentice is a specific status

The apprentice is an employee of the enterprise, but has a special status as a learner. The enterprise is obliged to provide training so that the apprentice can reach the learning objectives that have been formulated by the relevant Trade Committee for the placement periods (praktikmål).


Q35 - Do apprentices receive a salary, allowance or compensation?
Yes, all apprentices receive a salary (taxable income)
Yes, all apprentices receive an allowance (not a form of taxable income)
Apprentices receive a reimbursement of expenses
Compensation is possible but not required
No form of compensation is foreseen by law

Apprentices’ wages are negotiated as part of the collective agreements between the social partners. An example (plumber apprentices, 2014):

1st year DKK 61.75 per hour
2nd year DKK 71.20 per hour
3rd year DKK 89.70 per hour
4th year DKK 102.10 per hour

The apprentice is paid wages from the moment the contract comes into force.
Q36 - Who pays the salary / allowance of the apprentice?

The apprentice’s wages are paid by the employer. The employer may recover costs for wages during school periods from the Employers Reimbursement Fund (AUB).

Q37 - Is the company hosting apprentices required to provide training at the workplace?
Yes, obligation to provide training at the workplace is required in the contract
Yes, it is required by law
Yes, required by other regulations
No, not required formally

The employer must provide training, and learning objectives for the placement periods have been defined by the Trade Committees.

8Responsibility of employers

Q38 - What are the requirements on training companies, as per regulation?
Have to provide a mentor / tutor / trainer
Have to provide learning environment
Have to ensure learning support
Have to develop a training plan

The are requirements as to the ratio of apprentices and trained employees, as well as the nature of the tasks undertaken and the presence of machines and tools relevant to the trade. The rules for this are formulated by the Trade Committees. Enterprises wishing to take apprentices must be approved by the Trade Committee (which may delegate this task to the vocational school). 

Q39 - Are there any sanctions on companies that do not provide training to apprentices at the workplace?

They can lose the right to train apprentices.

Q40 - What is the role of chambers, employers' and employees' representatives (social partners), sectoral councils (if existent), in apprenticeships, as per regulation?
Roles in designing qualifications/ curricula
Roles in final assessment of apprentices
Roles in quality assurance of work-based VET
Responsible for the regulation of the contract
No role

The social partners in the Trade Committees at national and local level:

  • define learning objectives and curricula;
  • define length of programme and division school/enterprise;
  • negotiate wage level for apprentices;
  • provide assessors for the final exams (journeyman’s test).