This presentation was given by Jørn Skovsgaard from the Danish Ministry of at the GCES Conference on Governing Education in a Complex World during the first Workshop A on Participatory Governance in Brussels on 17 October.
The Danish VET system and VET policy reform 2015 With a Focus on Participatory Governance
The Danish VET system and
VET policy reform 2015
With a Focus on Participatory Governance
Governing Education in a Complex World
17 -18 Otober 2016
Senior adviser Jørn Skovsgaard
Danish Ministry of Children, Education and Gender Equality
The Danish VET-system – Key features
1. The Danish VET-system plays a major role for growth and
employment – demand for skilled labour will increase towards 2020.
2. VET-programmes qualifies students for the labour market as skilled
workers – high performance in terms of transition to employment.
3. Based on the dual education and training principle – alternation
between school-based and work based learning in a company
4. More than 100 main programmes are offered at three levels of 2, 31/2
and 5 years duration including approx. 300 different certificates.
5. Programmes offering double qualifications in selected fields including
VET and general upper secondary exams.
2 x 20 week
The dual princple in Danish VET
typically 3 - 3½ years
School based training: Work based training:
A few figures on VET - 2014
•46.000 enrolled in basic programmes
•80.000 enrolled a main programme – Apprenticeships
•8.000 enrolled in school based main programme
50.000 new apprenticeship agreements in companies with
in a year
Students in work-based VET
(E&T Monitoring report 2014)
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VET - Programmes
Basic programmes Main programmes Specialisations
1 Motor vehicle, aircraft etc. 6 programmes 22
2 Building and construction 15 programmes 38
3 Construction and services 3 programmes 6
4 Animals plants and nature 9 programmes 31
5 Body and style 3 programmes 4
6 Human food 11 programmes 29
7 Media production 7 programmes 10
8 Business 8 programmes 25
9 Production and technology 30 programmes 71
10 Electricity, IT and management 7 prorammes 27
11 Health, care and pedagogy 4 programmes 7
12 Transport and logistics 7 programmes 31 Side 8
Danish Qualifications Framework
for Lifelong Learning – www.nqf.dk
Overall governance of IVET
Ministry of Education
Approve programmes and providers
National Council - IVET
Demand for new programmes
Provision and accreditation
Demand for financing
50 Vocational Commitees
Asses demand for training
Develop training programmes
Approve companies for training
Advise national council
Provider Provider ProviderProviderProvider Provider Provider
Matching supply and demand in VET
Ministry of Education responsibly for:
• Central analysis unit assessing demand for vocational education training
• Overall planning of provision/accreditation of VET providers to offer programmes
• Regulation of in-take of VET-students matching demand for skilled labour
National VET Council advise on:
• The need for new programmes and closing of programmes
• Provision of programmes and in-take of students in school based training
• Financial support to skills forecasting and development work
• Promotion of apprenticeship
Sector training committees responsible for:
• Assessing skills demand within their sector – annually report to MOE/Council
• Developing or revising programmes on the basis of skills forecasting
• Approving companies for apprenticeship and monitoring work based learning..
Henrik.Saxtorph@uvm.dk Side 12
Quality and financing
• Lessons take place in well-equipped
workshops / classrooms.
• The teachers must acquire a diploma in
• External assessment organized by the
• Colleges must have a quality system
• Colleges are funded by a taximeter system
per student by the MOE
• Companies recive reimbursement of
student salary during training in colleges
financed by Employers Fund (AUB)
Rationale for reforming VET
• The demand for highly qualified skilled workers on the Danish labour
market are expected to increase towards 2020.
• A strong need for making VET more attractive for young people but
• Quality to be improved promoting student proficiency and excellence in
• A more effective VET-system and making the best use of resources to
Specific challenges for VET
• Number of young people in VET has decreased from 32% in 2001 to
19% in 2012.
• To many low performers in Danish and Math among many young
people who starts on a VET programme – 1 out of 5.
• High drop out rates in VET – 28% in basic programmes and 19% in
• Lack of apprentice placements in many sectors despite a number of
initiatives – Initiatives in 2013 to increase placements has been taken.
• 1/3 of students in VET is beyond 25 years (adult apprentices) which to
some extend is making it more difficult for young people to get
apprenticeship contract in companies.
Danish VET system reform 2015
Four clear goals:
1. The vocational education and training
programmes are to be an attractive first choice for
more young people. 25% by 2020.
2. More VET students to complete a vocational
education and training programme.
3. Students at vocational education and training
colleges to become as competent as possible.
4. Trust in and wellbeing at vocational education and
training colleges must be strengthened.
VET -reform key elements
1. An attractive youth education environment - one year basic
programmes for students coming from compulsory school
2. A Simpler and more transparent structure - 4 new broad basic
programmes in stead of 12
3. Better opportunities to move on to higher education (NQF 5 and 6)
including more VET double qualification programmes
4. New VET programmes for adults +25 years old (short track
programmes + recognition of prior learning)
5. Improve quality in education and teaching including
interplay between school- and work based learning
Other VET- reform elements
1. Clear admission requirements and offers for all young
people to access basic programmes
2. New VET-oriented stream in compulsory school at 10th
3. New combined 2 year post compulsory Youth Education
4. Continued efforts increasing training places in companies
and promoting the youth guarantee
5. Focusing of guidance activities and efforts
Clear admission requirements
• Minimum mark of 02 in Danish and Math are required from
the 9. and 10. grade school leaving exams
• Students holding a training agreement with a company
Also opportunity to access VET on the basis of:
• An admission test including a personal interview and an overall
assessment of potential to complete a programme
• Pilots with conditional access and supplementary courses
New offers for young people who do not fulfil requirements
• Vocational oriented 10. grade in primary school provided by VET-colleges
• Combined Youth Education – 2 year employment oriented programme
Better opportunities to continue
in higher education
• All VET programmes at min. level 4 to provide students rights for
admission to higher education programmes at level 5 in the national
qualification framework. (academy profession programmes).
• Combination of vocational education and high level single subjects
equivalent to general upper secondary subjects to meet admission
requirements in higher education programmes.
• Programmes leading to a double qualification (VET+ upper
secondary general exam) to be extended to more occupational fields.
• Access to professional - and university bachelor programmes on the
basis of a VET programme to be clarified and promoted.
Better quality in teaching
1. More lessons
2. Improvement of
3. New and improved
4. School development
5. Monitoring of VET
More lessons in VET
Minimum number of teaching lessons: 25 hours per week in 2015 and
26 hours from 2016 - overall work load still to be 37 hours pr. week.
• Possibilities to acquire higher levels in selected subjects.
• More practice oriented lessons and teaching applied to concrete work
linking theory and practice .
• Guidance and formative evaluation.
• More and better student homework support including basic skills with
• 45 minutes of physical exercise every day.
Better teaching -
and at higher levels
• General and vocational subjects on different levels.
• Talent tracks including high level specialised subjects in all relevant
programmes by 2016.
• Commitment for teaching differentiation to meet different needs
• Linking school and work based learning better by:
1. Introducing competence goals in curricula on student performance in
linking theory and practice.
2. Improvement of practice oriented teaching methods promoting applied
knowledge, skills and competences.
3. Systematic introduction and feedback by teachers to students on
workplace training and learning.
• Strengthen the use of digital learning on the basis of a comprehensive
strategy for ”Digital VET” at VET colleges.
Implementation – Support and monitoring
• Redesign of all basic and main
programmes including innovation
by MOE and social partners
• School development including
continuing training of teachers
and school management
• National unit of learning
consultants supporting schools
• Dynamic learning platform
(EMU.dk) with learning
materials, relevant research
findings and inspirational
• Development of key performance
indicators on reform objectives
• A large and long term evaluation
programme to bee initiated
• Implementation are followed
closely by high level ministerial
steering committee and national
• Implementation of the reform
progresses as planned and will be
completed by 2016
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