Students must have minimum grades in mathematics and Danish to enter VET. Alternatively they must have a signed apprentice contract or pass an initial test. There are 51 municipal youth guidance centres. Their main task is to provide guidance to students from compulsory school until the age of 25 years.

To be enrolled at a VET college, students are required to have the minimum grade of 2, which is at the low end of the scale, in Danish and mathematics from compulsory education. If they have a signed training agreement with a company, they may enter a VET college regardless of grades. For students who do not meet the minimum grade requirements and who do not have a signed contract, there may still be opportunities to start a VET program if they pass an overall assessment test.

Assessment of prior learning

Within the first two weeks of the VET program, VET students will undertake an assessment of prior learning (Realkompetencevurdering). The assessment forms the basis for a personal education plan to ensure that the student’s learning pathway takes into account prior learning and to enable each student to obtain the highest possible level of competence, which is one of the four goals of the most recent reform. The Prior Learning Assessment can be conducted via interview, tests or practical assignments, or on the basis of the VET student’s previous education, training or employment.

Preparation for VET

There are several initiatives to prepare students to access and participate in upper secondary VET mainly targeting youth:

Production Schools are independent institutions. Their main objective is to strengthen the personal development of young people and improve their chances in the educational system – often in the VET system – and in the ordinary labor market.

Summer Schools are for pupils who have finished compulsory school but need to lift their grades and pass Danish and mathematics to meet the admissions requirements.

EUD10 is a vocationally oriented 10th grade to prepare motivated pupils for VET, so that they will be able to meet the admissions requirements.

Youth Guidance Centers (Ungdommens Uddannelsesvejledning UU)

Local authorities have the formal responsibility for youth guidance. There are 51 municipal youth guidance centres representing 98 local authorities in Denmark. The centres target students in compulsory education (7th to 10th grade) to support their transition to youth education or alternatively the labour market. Guidance centres conduct an ‘educational readiness assessment’. The centres provide individual guidance to pupils from the eighth grade, who are assessed as being ‘not ready’ for an upper secondary education.  The remaining the pupils are given comprehensive guidance, where they are presented with the different educational pathways available, including VET. A range of VET schools also offer bridge-building programs to students in compulsory education as part of the guidance system.