Companies constitute the core of apprenticeship systems, as the major part of an apprentice’ training occurs in a company supported by apprenticeship training agreements and in-company trainers. Apprenticeship companies typically have to be approved as training and learning venue to ensure that they live up to specific standards in terms of learning as well as work and salary conditions. At times companies can be so specialised so that they cannot cover all the learning outcomes. In some systems two or more companies may in that case jointly offer an apprentice place.
Individual companies are usually not involved in the apprenticeship system development at the system level. The companies are, however, indirectly involved through their membership within the Economic Chamber and sit, for example, as examiners during apprenticeship final exams.
Companies are represented by employers’ organizations at all levels of the Danish VET system, from the national level to the local level in college boards etc. Companies play a crucial role in the VET system because two thirds of the training in most VET programs takes place in a company. The involvement of companies providing the work-based training as part of the dual training for apprentices also requires close cooperation with the college, which is vital in the functioning of vocational training in a dual VET system.
It is the decision of a company to offer training places. Once they take the decision, they have to comply with the regulations of the Vocational Training Act. There are various measures and initiatives to support companies in their training engagement.
The companies are responsible for the in-company training of apprentices. The companies are not directly involved in the process of elaborating the VET legislative framework and vocational standards, although they are closely involved in elaborating the training curricula for each trade or profession as members of the curricular working groups.
Companies are usually involved and represented through their trade unions or industry associations in VPET matters and they are considered professional organisations in the public-private partnership. The trade unions and industry associations take part in discussions and decision-making processes concerning legislative issues and the development of vocational standards. The trade unions and industry associations are invited to all VPET conferences and included in all relevant commissions and working groups.