Before the Danish Parliament acted in 2017, the landscape of introductory courses and training for people under 25 without a general or vocational upper secondary education was a patchwork of pre- and basic VET programmes and institutions. This changed in August 2019 by establishing an introductory basic education (Forberedende Grunduddannelse, FGU).
Currently, there are more than 50 000 young people under the age of 25 without education, training or work. Ongoing reorganisation of the introductory basic education system aims at enabling at least 90% of them to accomplish a general or vocational upper secondary education programme, thereby significantly reducing the number of young people without an education or job.
The fundamental change involves shutting down and/or merging former institutions with the new FGU introductory courses, pre- and basic IVET. The FGU is structured to accommodate different courses and education pathways and can offer three different kinds of education tracks:
- general basic education (Almen Grunduddannelse, AGU). These are general courses designed to help young people transition into general upper secondary education;
- basic vocational education (Erhvervsgrunduddannelse, EGU). These courses aim to prepare young people for a regular VET pathway;
- production basic education (Produktionsgrunduddannelse, PGU). This track is intended to convey skills to young persons that enable them to carry out a job and possibly later to undertake vocational education.
In all three tracks, after completing their education young people receive a diploma which makes them eligible for further education. The FGU is not equivalent to other forms of youth education at upper secondary level or a vocational education, but it can be a stepping stone in that direction.
What are the challenges ahead?
According to the Danish Evaluation Institute (EVA), teachers and leaders at the FGU must fulfil four major tasks if this initiative is to succeed:
- design an education that is holistic and practice-oriented;
- create strong teams of teachers with a common skillset;
- establish good cooperation with other providers and stakeholders in the field of pre- and basic VET and introductory education to ensure that the FGU is a credible pathway for young people, leading to an education or a job;
- ensure that the FGU becomes an inspiring and attractive environment for young people.
Accordingly, the efforts of teachers and leaders in the new FGU institutions will be crucial to its success.
4 udfordringer, den nye FGU skal løse [4 challenges that the new R&D must solve]