Vocational Training in Denmark

One of the major themes at the 2006 World Economic Forum in Davos is on the future of jobs, but according to a new report from the International Labour Organization, that future relies heavily on the ability of workers to continually upgrade their skills as ILO TV explains.

Date issued: 19 January 2006 | Size/duration: 00:02:09 (3.6MB)
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The new Copenhagen Opera House. A world class project by renowned Danish architect, Henning Larsen.

Larsen supervised the builders and carpenters. He knows what he’s talking about, for although he’s now at the top of his profession, he started out as a craftsman.

Larsen began in a practical job, but always had the chance to improve his skills and further his education. That’s what Christian Poulsen, a carpentry apprentice, hopes to do.

Christian Poulsen, Apprentice, Elindco

What I like are the challenges... If I feel like it, I can continue and study to become an engineer or architect...

Denmark’s system of apprenticeships and lifelong training creates a workforce with skills that respond to the needs of the job market.

Henrik Bach Mortensen, Confederation of Danish Employers

What is important to us is that the level of skills in vocational education is kept at a very high level. Increased competition and globalization mean that the employees in Danish companies have to have the best qualifications in the world...

According to a new report from the ILO, jobs in the service sector is where the future lies.

Dorothea Schmidt, ILO Employment expert

The service sector is really where the future of jobs lies. This is true for decent jobs as well as for bad jobs. To make sure that you really get one of the good jobs you continuously have to upgrade your skills. With an apprenticeship system like the one in Denmark, people get the ability to compete for the good jobs in the future.

Denmark puts a greater emphasis than other countries on theoretical content. Christian studies at a technical school while a fellow employee attends a university engineering course.

Bertel Haarder, Education Minister

What makes these schools attractive in Denmark is there is no dead end street. You can leave school, you can have a practical education combined with theory in school, and there’s an open end....

Thanks to this unique system, for Christian and others like him, the road is wide open to whatever changing job opportunities may arise ....