Danish Trade Union EU Office
COVID-19 has affected young people's access to vocational training – a tripartite agreement can remove obstacles.
The uncertainty which the COVID-19 crisis has created for many businesses has had direct consequences for young people are entering vocational training in Denmark. Financial uncertainty can result in fewer training places being created.
In the Danish dual vocational training system, where classes in college are combined with a work placement in a company, COVID-19 has the potential to disrupt this pattern and leave apprentices in a difficult situation. Existing training contracts may be terminated and new agreements not drawn up.
In the short term this creates a problem for the trainees and in the long term also for the businesses – and society as a whole.
In Denmark, it is widely recognised that more young people should choose vocational training – there will be a need for their skills in the future.
The social partners have therefore concluded a tripartite agreement with the Danish government.
The agreement includes several initiatives that aim to mitigate the risk for any company of creating a new training placement.
One of the initiatives provides a temporary subsidy to private companies creating training placements until the end of 2020. The subsidy will cover 90% of the salary paid to the apprentice in a new standard placement created after 1 May 2020. For placements already set up, the subsidy will be 75%.
There is a need for new skills in the public sector too, not least in the social and care sector. The tripartite agreement includes a bonus to municipalities and regions that create placements after 1 May.
Most of the initiatives are financed via a fund set up through employers' contributions to vocational training.