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 requires close cooperation with the college, which is vital in the functioning of vocational training in a dual VET system.
Companies are at the heart of the Danish VET system, with two thirds of most VET programs taking place in the company. All companies approved by the trade committees can recruit apprentices. However, in order to be approved, the training environment must be appropriate and have adequate facilities and qualified trainers. In order to comply with these requirements and to support the process, companies can obtain support from the relevant trade committee, the local training committee or the local VET college. In practice, the sector-specific local training committee will be the de-facto decision-makers in the approval process because they typically have better insight into the local companies than the national-level trade committees. Companies can obtain support from the local training committee and the VET college for such issues as the recruitment process, handling the legal aspects and translating occupational standards for the company part of the training. It is possible for companies to share an apprentice, either as part of an ordinary apprenticeship agreement (combination agreements) or as part of an arrangement in which the Centres of Placement organize and may care of some of the training, while two or more companies undertake the rest of the work-based training (short agreements and/or residual agreements).
The companies have an overall responsibility to ensure that the training complies with the learning objectives of the specific program and that it is aligned with the apprentice’s individual training plan. The apprenticeship system depends on the employers as such to take collective responsibility to ensure that there is a match between the supply and demand of labour-market skills by taking in a sufficient number of apprentices.
Companies are represented at all levels of the VET system:
• In the Advisory Council for Initial Vocational Education and Training (REU), the companies are represented through their different organizations. In the Council their involvement is formalized at the political level. The Advisory Council has the responsibility for advising the Ministry of Children and Education on principal matters concerning VET.
• In the trade committees, where the social partners have appointed representatives from both the employer and employee sides.
• The local companies are also represented in the local training committees.
• And very often on the VET college board of directors.