The Danish initiative ‘Need for all Youngsters’ included national initiatives to raise awareness of the educational system, in particular VET, amongst parents from ethnic minorities.


Focus: general education, in particular the transition between lower and upper secondary school (ungdomsuddannelse) and more particularly those students in year 9/10 considered not ready to move into upper secondary school.

Primary target group: youth guidance centres

Secondary target group: local actors in the area of the youth guidance centres, such as primary/lower secondary schools, upper secondary schools (incl. VET), youth schools/clubs, social housing organisations, companies, families, etc.  


Country/ies or organisation that developed the tool

Ministry of Education (Denmark)

Date of creation of toolkit and periodicity of updates

Need for all Youngsters was created in 2003 and updated in 2011 and 2015, depending on the financing period and the identified needs.

Purpose of the toolkit

Guidance on best practices (to improve the design of policies and practices)

“Need for all Youngsters is an outreaching team of consultants which works towards making more young people, regardless of ethnicity, start and complete upper secondary education (ungdomsuddannelse). The goal is to ensure that all young people have equal opportunities to get an education and enter employment. Need for all Youngsters focuses on the guidance of young people and support of the Youth Guidance Centres in their work […] helping young people who are not ready for ET to start and complete upper secondary education.”[1]

Since 2011, the project has focused on students in disadvantaged areas and, since 2015, this initiative has targeted local youth guidance centres with the aim of raising the methodological quality and strengthen the centres’ cooperation with other local actors (ikke-uddannelsesparat).

[1] See:

Description of each of the tools

The tool is a collection of comprehensive guidance material (described below) that can be used to support the project.

The online material available for download covers the following areas:

  • teaching activities
  • didactic processes, methods, and tools
  • collaboration with families
  • application for apprenticeship and preparation for job
  • homework cafés and support for homework

Each area includes several tools aimed at supporting and inspiring work with students, both in terms of general education and VET. The tools rely on projects and experiences that are developed both as part of Need for all Youngsters, and as part of the Retention Taskforce[1].

Under the category ‘Collaboration with families’, it is for example possible to download the guide Guidance and assessment in relation to your child’s education (Vejledning og vurdering i forhold til dit barns uddannelse). This document is published in Danish, Arabic, Farsi, Somali, Tamil, Turkish, and Urdu and contains a wealth of information regarding upper secondary school and what to do if a child isn’t deemed ready for it.


[1] See the previous measure fiche that covered the retention initiatives in VET.

Type of indicators used in the identification of learners at risk of early leaving

The assessment of students’ readiness for education and training (ET) in upper secondary education (uddannelsesparathed) by the end of compulsory school, carried out by teachers, is used as an indicator of potential early school leaving. The school assesses students’ academic, personal and social readiness for upper secondary education:

  • academic readiness takes into account both grade average and plans for further ET
  • personal readiness focuses on characteristics such as independence and motivation
  • social readiness focuses on the ability to collaborate, respect and tolerate

The guidance material also illustrates many factors used in the identification of at-risk students, for example:

  • parents’ socioeconomic background
  • language barriers (both in terms of lack of knowledge in Danish and/or professional language)
  • lack of motivation;
  •  psychological issues
  • poor academic results

Type of guidance given to users

Based on the evaluation of Need for all Youngsters in 2011-14 in local disadvantaged areas, the following solutions were made  available (descriptions, examples and reflections are included in the evaluation):

  • Mobilisation of young people themselves, for example through:
    • youth ambassadors in disadvantaged areas
    • speed projects (Lynprojekter) where students create their own short-term projects aimed at promoting ET - Students will have to develop projects themselves and apply for money, but will receive support from adults
    • participation in sports to create networks and improve learning abilities
  • Collaboration with parents, for example through parents’ cafes, dialogue/information meetings, creation of parents networks, and inclusion of parents when developing activities
  • Raising students’ motivation, for example through intensive guidance for at-risk students or visits to upper secondary schools when students are still in compulsory school (‘bridge building activities’).
  • Comprehensive solutions and mobilisation of networks in local areas, for example through meetings between all actors involved in the local area, to create and ensure a shared effort to support students.

In addition to these local initiatives, Need for all Youngsters also carried out national initiatives, of which the evaluation provides an overview, for example:

  • Raising awareness about the Danish educational system, in particular VET, amongst parents from ethnic minorities.
  • Creating role models who can tell other students about their own stories.
  • Support for homework.
  • Promoting the use of professional language in VET institutions.

Source of information of the different tools

Need for all Youngsters (Ministry of Education)

Link/s to the toolkit and further information


Need for all Youngsters website