About the PIU-office

In 1992 the Danish Parliament passed legislation to the effect that young Danes in initial vocational training could have periods of work placement abroad recognised as an integral part of their course. At the same time, funds were made available through the Employers' Reimbursement System (AUB) to finance the extra costs incurred by the individual trainee during this transnational experience. Since then many trainees have every year availed themselves of the possibility for this, and the number is expected to grow in the years to come in tandem with the economic integration of the European Union.

Education and training

The PIU-programme is an important aspect of vocational education and training in Denmark because of its intrinsic value as qualitative improvement of our vocational education and training system. A work placement abroad gives the young person qualifications that are invaluable assets in today's economic and industrial climate: communicative skills in foreign languages, intimate knowledge of foreign markets, valuable contacts and in many instances new technological insights. Add to this the personal development of a young person away from home for a long period: increased independence, self-reliance, tolerance of others with a different background, problem-solving skills, initiative, ability to assume responsibility etc. - just to mention some of the positive effects that can be identified.

Work placements with funding from the PIU-programme can take place in all countries. The placements are between 12 and 24 months.

As will appear from the description of the Danish vocational education and training system below, practically all courses are alternance-based, i.e. consisting of alternating school periods and periods spent in work placement (the dual system).

The trainees going abroad can do it in two ways: either they sign a training contract with a foreign company for a part of or for the entire duration of their company-based training. The trainees are between 18 and 20 year old.

AUB - The employers' reimbursement system (apprentices and trainees)

- is a scheme operated jointly by employers in the private and public sectors. The purpose of the scheme is to increase the quality and quantity of work placements in initial vocational training by distributing costs for the training of apprentices and trainees evenly on all employers. Accordingly, all employers pay a contribution to the funds on a scale determined by the number of staff they employ in Denmark. The AUB is a self-supporting institution set up by law in 1977 and is managed by a board consisting of representatives from both sides of the labour market.

Initial vocational education and training in Denmark

- is largely structured as a so-called dual system (the apprenticeship model), where the trainees spend their time partly in vocational schools, partly in companies. The school periods come in blocks at strategic intervals, one school period as a minimum during the first 12 months.

The company and the trainee sign a training contract, and during the course the trainees are paid wages, minimum £ 750 per month.

The PIU Office

- was set up by most of the commercial colleges in Denmark in 1990. The PIU-office is dedicated to the promotion of transnational mobility in vocational education through information, advice and practical assistance to trainees and vocational colleges in Denmark. The PIU-office works directly together with companies, vocational colleges and has developed a substantial network of contacts in Great Britain, Ireland and Germany.

A Danish trainee in your Company

Download our brochure about taking on Danish trainees in your company here:

A Danish trainee in your company

Info sheet for companies in the UK