• Klavs Nielsen
4. semester, Politik og Administration, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This research paper is a comparative study between countries in vocational education and training (VET). The number of students attending and finishing vocational education has been on a rapid decline in Denmark, since the beginning of the new century. The subject has been on the Danish politi-cal agenda for a while, and Danish politicians has been ac-tive in trying to establish a more attractive VET-system – but without any measurable results yet. Meanwhile, vocation-al education seems to thrive in countries like Finland, where double the numbers of students from a year class com-pared to Denmark are attending VET.
In Germany, a country that shares many of the same Danish foundations for VET, the problem is somewhat the same. Fewer students are attending and finishing VET; a decline that has been going steady for 10 years. Nor in Germany has this de-velopment gone unnoticed and the political toolbox has been opened on the issue. The German VET-system is still held in high esteem though, and the work-based learning method that is applied in VET, is being held in high regard in both Ger-many and other countries.
So, what are these countries doing in terms of improving VET in their respective countries? What might Denmark learn from these countries in terms of VET?
The results of this paper conclude, that indeed there are German and Finnish VET-initiatives, that Denmark could draw experience from. The German VET-system is very well-rounded with a thorough career guidance-oriented approach, that takes the appropriate measures to steer the young pupils to-wards a fitting career path. And even though the German pri-mary school - in contrast to the Danish primary school - segregates children from an early age, there are experiences to be learned from the German VET-system in terms of volun-tary elderly mentoring of VET students, culturally dependent outlooks on VET and the bridge between education and work.
The Finnish VET-system has other qualities. The very flexi-ble VET allows the students to piece together their educa-tion in many ways, and as such, is an opportunity to modu-late one’s own specialty within a field. When a VET student completes his or her education, there are numerous pathways to higher and further education, which is considered an at-tractive feature for many. The high focus on improving the transition from VET to the world of work has become a merit of the system. Several campaigns and national skill competi-tions focused on spreading and improving the image of VET has also been a key factor in raising the status and attrac-tiveness of VET in Finland. Additionally, there has been es-tablished financial incentives for the VET-schools to moni-tor their postgraduate students, to ensure, that they tran-sition into either work or further education. These are all key points to extract from the Finnish VET-system, when com-paring to Danish VET.
It is however important to recognize, that certain methods or structures from other countries cannot simply be imported and applied as a blueprint, when wanting to reorganize a system. As such, it is important to determine which compo-nents of a foreign model can easily be integrated into ex-isting structures, and what adjustments and modifications need to be made. Importing VET-systems is no different, and considerations should be made in terms of suitability of in-dividual features, and select only those features that best match the countries’ own goals, structures, and cultural norms.
Udgivelsesdato15 jan. 2017
ID: 267499928