The apprenticeship agreement

The apprenticeship agreement can be entered into at various times during the apprenticeship:

The apprenticeship agreement includes the basic course and usually commences with work experience with the employer. This is called the work experience route.

The apprenticeship agreement is signed after the apprentice has passed the basic course. This is called the college access route.

Denmark offers educational guarantee. Apprentices who do not have an apprenticeship agreement with a company in place can complete parts of their apprenticeship at a work experience centre at a technical college.

The Danish Government pays for the education of the apprentices when they study at the school, while companies pay the apprentices when they are at work.  

What are the various types of apprenticeship agreements?

Employers must be certified by the apprenticeship’s technical committee in order to handle the work placement element of the apprenticeship. Employers can choose between three types of apprenticeship agreement.

1)    The ordinary apprenticeship agreement: The employer is certified as a work placement provider and may undertake to train an apprentice throughout the apprentice’s course or only in selected stages (in training where the main course is divided into stages).

2)    Combination agreement: Two or more employers work together to cover a full apprenticeship. Each employer must enter into a partial agreement which must state the period covered by that agreement.

  • A combination agreement may usually be entered into if an employer has not been certified independently to take on the full apprenticeship.
  • All apprenticeship agreements with employers must state other work placement locations included in the agreement and in which periods these apply. If work placement location is changed when the apprentice attends college, for example, the agreement must name the employer that is responsible for this college period.
  • Partial apprentice agreement: The employer enters into an apprenticeship agreement for the remaining part of the apprenticeship with an apprentice who is in college and is undertaking the main course module.

3)    Short-term apprenticeship agreement: This type of agreement must according to the standards set by the Danish Ministry of Education include as minimum one work placement period and one college period in its main course element, but may also include more of the apprenticeship, e.g. the basic course or a new apprenticeship agreement. The agreement may always be extended or changed to a standard agreement. At the end of a short apprenticeship agreement, the apprentice is entitled to admission to college work experience.

The employer may seek help and information about the type of agreement that is suitable for the apprenticeship for which the employer and the apprentice wish to sign a contract.

How do you enter into an apprenticeship agreement?

To enter into an apprenticeship agreement, the employer and the apprentice must use the approved form published by the Danish Ministry of Education. The apprenticeship agreement is a legal contract between the apprentice and the employer. This is why the Danish apprenticeship agreement is mandatory for everyone – including foreign-based companies with operations in Denmark.

The apprenticeship agreement must be signed no later than on the date of commencement of the apprenticeship. If the apprentice is under the age of 18, the apprentice’s guardian must provide his/her consent by signing the apprenticeship agreement.

The apprenticeship agreement MUST be submitted duly signed as soon as possible to the vocational college to which the apprentice wishes to gain entry. The college will review and provide guidance on completion of the agreement. After registration of the apprenticeship agreement, the college sends copies to the employer and the apprentice. The apprentice will simultaneously be informed of whether he/she has been admitted to the college or has been referred to an alternative college.

Important: The apprenticeship agreement is only legally valid once the college has registered the agreement

Please note that the responsibility for completing all points of an apprenticeship agreement rests with the signatories. Failure to provide information on collective agreements, wages and working hours may result in financial outlay for the employer pursuant to the Danish Notice on Employment.

The apprentice may freely choose between the colleges offering the apprenticeship. The apprentice and employer must therefore agree on the college to which they wish to seek admission. This must be clearly stated in the apprenticeship agreement.

If the employer and the apprentice have agreed on additional training in the form of other general subjects, subjects at a higher level or additional vocational training, this must be stated in the apprenticeship agreement.

Every time a change is made to the apprenticeship in relation to the original apprenticeship agreement, an addendum must be added to the apprenticeship agreement – this may be e.g. a change of company, extension or curtailment of the apprenticeship, long-term illness or additional training. The Addendum to the Apprenticeship Agreement (Tillæg til uddannelsesaftale) should be used. This document has not been translated into English. Please contact the vocational college if any change is made to the apprenticeship agreement.

The form that must be completed when entering into an apprenticeship agreement:

Important: This document has only been translated for information purposes. It cannot be completed in English. This document must be completed in Danish to be legally valid.

Apprenticeship agreement in Danish. (must be downloaded and opened with Adobe Reader) 

This document must be completed in Danish to be legally valid.

What does ‘trial period’ mean?

The first three months after the date of signature of the apprenticeship agreement constitute a trial period. During this trial period, the parties to the apprenticeship agreement may terminate the agreement without stating a reason and without notice.

On expiry of the trial period, the apprenticeship agreement is in principle non-terminable.

The trial period applies to all types of agreement.

The trial period does not, however, apply to relationships where the employer and apprentice have previously had an apprenticeship agreement or partial agreement in place. If an employer and an apprentice enter into two or more short-term apprenticeship agreements or an additional partial agreement, the trial period only applies to the initial agreement.

Changes to the content of the agreement

Should changes be made to what has been agreed in the apprenticeship agreement, these changes must be made in writing and registered with the vocational college.

Cancellation of an apprenticeship agreement

On expiry of the trial period, the apprenticeship agreement is in principle, as stated above, non-terminable.

The agreement may, however, be terminated if the parties are in agreement or in the event of gross breach of contract.

In the event of breach of contract, the party that wishes to terminate the apprenticeship agreement must terminate the apprenticeship agreement no later than one month after having become aware of the breach of contract. Please contact the vocational college if any change is made to the apprenticeship agreement.

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