It has been a growing concern among the social partners and the prior and current government that too few young people choose a vocational pathway after completion of compulsory education. For that reason the upper secondary education system has been reformed, and regardless of choice of pathway minimum grades have been introduced. One of the rationales of introducing grade entry requirements is that studies have shown that there is a high correlation between poor performance in compulsory education, and the risk of drop out. A previous study has shown that the drop-outs may have lasting effects, which will impact life opportunities.
Guidance and assessment of educational readiness and different forms of tailored support in compulsory education combined with differentiated pathways are key means to improve educational outcomes for all. A central element is a EUD 10, which is a vocationally toned 10th form. The aim of this offer is to improve the individual’s student’s educational readiness- and in particular Danish and math, which are important foundation skills also in VET. In addition students are introduced to the four broad occupational areas in initial VET. At least 30% of the EUD10 must be organised with a Vet college to ensure vocational toning.
The overall aims of the reform of the upper secondary education system has been to stimulate a more balanced choice of youth education pathways mirroring the diversity of youth as well as projected developments in the labour market.
The latest VET reform was implemented in 2015. Four objectives have governed the design and implementation of the reform. These are:
- More students must choose to start VET immediately following form level 9 or 10.
- More students must complete a VET programme.
- The VET programmes should challenge all students so they may reach their fullest potential.
- The trust and well-being in the VET system must be strengthened.
For each of those objectives, measurable indicators have been developed. Two of the targets will be monitored through compulsory surveys. One survey will monitor student well-being. It will target all students in upper secondary VET.
The other survey will target all apprenticeship companies. It will monitor company satisfaction regarding the cooperation with VET schools. The first national survey of student well-being shows that students general on the seven parameters measured have a high degree of well-being.
With the broad extended basic programme the aim is that younger students will have a better chance of making an informed choice regarding the main programme and specialisation opportunities. The reform also improves opportunities for VET graduates to continue in tertiary education.
Data from spring 2016 show that the so-called eux- pathway, leading to a double qualification, has become a popular choice among applicants to VET. VET programmes with duration of minimum three years will in the future give access to all short cycle tertiary programmes- the academy profession programmes. A study on the future demands for professionals linked to Industry 4.0 developments show that the combination of a VET qualification and a short cycle professional degree from an academy is a highly attractive profile for many manufacturing.
- Improving Vocational Education and Training – overview of reform of the Danish vocational education System: http://eng.uvm.dk/