Challenges for the Dual system and the occupational self-governance in Denmark

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    Vocational education and training in Denmark is based on the dual system and the apprentice-ship model and in many ways constitutes a success story. Since the 1930s, the social partners have had a decisive influence on the VET system through the principle of occupational self-governance, and this is a major reason why the dual system has survived until today. Although none of the system’s stakeholders seriously question the value of apprenticeship, it is confronted with two major challenges that pose questions as to whether apprenticeship can remain the basis for vocational education in the future. The first challenge relates to whether companies can provide a stable supply of training placements of sufficient magnitude. The second challenge relates to whether occupational self-governance can survive the pressure from growing govern-ment intervention aimed at integrating the VET system within general educational policy. In order to answer these questions, the first part of the article examines how the Danish dual sys-tem came about as part of a historical process. In the second part of the article, the challenges confronting the VET system are examined in order to assess the future of a VET system based on apprenticeship.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Vocational Education and Training
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)289-303
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


    • apprenticeship
    • dual system
    • occupational selfgovernance

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