How to elevate more unskilled workers to become skilled workers? 

Challenge

 Businesses need skilled workers, and many unemployed people would have a firmer footing in the labour market if they engaged in vocational training. The vocational improvement programme provides an opportunity for unskilled and skilled benefit recipients with outdated training to acquire vocational training, but far fewer people than anticipated have taken this opportunity in the project’s first year.

Approach

 In a nationwide study, Epinion surveyed more than 4.000 recipients of benefits’ motivation regarding adult education and continuing education, and in several parallel analyses based on interviews, observations and surveys, identified specific barriers to the increased use of vocational improvement. This knowledge is being applied in ‘Projekt Uddannelsesambassadører’, where 14 job centres are working purposefully to increase the use of vocational improvement through dedicated education ambassadors. Epinion, together with a partner, supported the process and evaluated the project for the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment (STAR).

Resolution

Over the action period, the 14 project municipalities have increased the number of initiated vocational improvement programmes for unskilled unemployment benefit recipients by 241%. The increase in Denmark’s other municipalities was just 41%. In 2018, the 14 project municipalities accounted for just under half of all vocational improvement programmes nationwide. The project will be continued in 2019 and 2020 in 20 new Danish municipalities.

Other cases