There are currently many vacant apprentice places in the Capital Region of Denmark, particularly in industry and the building and construction sector. So training for a vocational career is a safe choice for young people.
Such is the message in a video campaign and Facebook ads recently launched by the Capital Region of Denmark. The effort is part of the Ditbarnsfremtid.dk (your child's future) campaign aimed at helping parents discuss education and career choices with their children.
"We can see from surveys that we have had conducted, that uncertainty about internship vacancies influences how parents advise their children about education."
"However, we need to encourage far more young people to choose a vocational education programme, because we need more skilled labour. So it's paramount that young people can feel certain that they’ll be able to find an internship during their education."
"Therefore I’d like to get as close as possible to being able to guarantee an internship on education programmes that have good job prospects," said Lars Gaardhøj, who is chairman of the Capital Region of Denmark's committee for business and growth."
Businesses: We can employ many more apprentices
The most recent figures from the Danish Ministry of Education show that almost 90% of students at vocational colleges in Denmark are in an internship at a business. Flextek A/S, a supplier of robots and machine tools for the metal industry, confirms this.
"The lack of apprentice places has been an issue for many years, but it doesn’t reflect reality. We actually have a shortage of apprentice industrial technicians and automatic control technicians."
"This is because manufacturing industry has seen huge progress, and because the vocational education reform has resulted in better skilled and more motivated apprentices, who are in high demand," said Managing Director Henning Dam, who is also chairman of a support network for the industrial technicians programme.
"The network includes ten enterprises from the Greater Copenhagen area, and they’re all calling for more apprentice industrial technicians. We can find internships for everyone starting on the programme," he said.
Barslund A/S, a construction group domiciled in Kvistgård in Northern Zealand, is an example of the excellent internship prospects in the building and construction sector as well.
"We hire almost everyone who applies for an apprenticeship with us. Because, we believe that we have to take responsibility for training the skilled labour that we need now and in the future. We currently have 26 apprentices, including road makers, machine operators, pavers, smiths, mechanics and IT-support workers," said Mette Egesø, human resource manager at Barslund A/S.
Vocational colleges can sense the current favourable situation
Internship prospects are, however, not equally good for all vocational education and training programmes. The region and the social partners (unions and employer organisations) are striving to ensure continued growth in the number of internship vacancies.
"We encourage young people and their parents to check out the current internship opportunities before deciding on an education programme, so that they don't end up ruling out a specific career path where there are actually really good internship prospects," said Lars Gaardhøj.
A list of current internship opportunities is available at praktikpladsen.dk. However, since not all businesses announce their trainee and apprenticeship vacancies here, contacting the internship centres at vocational colleges is a really good idea. The centres have close contact to the business community and are looking for a surprisingly large number of students to fill vacant internships.
This applies e.g. to the bricklayer programme at the vocational college in northern Zealand (Erhvervsskolen Nordsjælland).
"We don't generally have any problems finding apprentice places for our apprentice bricklayers and we currently have a list of 14-15 builders who are looking for apprentices."
"Just now there’ is high demand for bricklayer apprentices and there are easily enough apprentice places to go around. I have never experienced such great demand for bricklayers before, and I myself finished the programme in 1972," said Hans Henrik Tonsberg, bricklaying teacher at Erhvervsskolen Nordsjælland.
About the Ditbarnsfremtid.dk campaign
The Capital Region of Denmark with the five other Danish regions, as well as several other collaboration partners, are behind the Ditbarnsfremtid.dk (your child's future) campaign, the aim of which is to help parents discuss education and career choices with their children and inform them about the many opportunities offered by vocational education and training programmes.
About the shortage of apprentices
The Capital Region of Denmark's 2016 "growth barometer" indicates that more than one in ten businesses in the region have apprenticeship and trainee vacancies. Furthermore, every five business say that they can arrange more placements, if necessary.
What is the Capital Region of Denmark doing to ensure more internship vacancies?
- The Capital Region of Denmark has training and education clauses in its largest hospital-building contracts. The number of internships and apprenticeships is defined according to man-years and the region currently has 69.2 man-years in contract clauses. In the 2017 budget agreement, the Capital Region of Denmark has earmarked funds to enhance efforts, so that the clauses are managed smoothly and standards are developed which can be propagated to other public players.
- The Capital Region of Denmark has a target of 261 new internships in operating in the Region's own organisation. Half of these places have already been secured. With the 2017 budget agreement, the Regional Council has decided to identify where the Region can take in more apprentices, so that the target figure can be increased to 300 annually.
- The Capital Region of Denmark currently has a total of 469 apprentices, not counting social and healthcare assistants. This corresponds to 13.5% of the Region's skilled employees.
- The Capital Region of Denmark also trains social and healthcare assistants, and currently employs around 1000 apprentices.
Source: The Internship Unit in the Capital Region of Denmark
The Capital Region of Denmark's external efforts to ensure more internships
- In 2012, the Regional Council launched the Regional Internship Unit, which has secured more than 3000 extra internships since its start.
- The new target for the Internship Unit is an additional 1200 internships annually up to 2018. As of June 2016, the Unit was almost halfway, with 519 internships.
- The Internship Unit secures internships on large construction projects throughout Zealand. A total of 152 placements were created in this area in the period from September 2015 to April 2016.
- In strategic roundtable discussions with vocational colleges, organisations, municipalities and businesses, the Capital Region of Denmark is discussing how to improve the ambitions of the tripartite agreement at regional level to boost apprenticeship outreach work by colleges.
Source: The Internship Unit in the Capital Region of Denmark
About the effect of internships on education choice
- A total of 14.2% of parents surveyed say that good prospects of securing an internship could encourage their children to choose a vocational education and training programme.
Source: Survey by IUM and IPG Mediabrands for Den Regionale Ungeenhed (regional young people unit), August 2016. The survey targeted parents with children aged between 14 and 23. A total of 520 respondents.
- A total of 31% of parents who would not recommend that their children choose a vocational career path, state the reason as being concerns about future internship and job prospects.
Source: Survey by Den Regionale Ungeenhed (2016), 128 respondents in the Capital Region of Denmark.
About current internship prospects