Still Egalitarian? How the Knowledge Economy Is Changing Vocational Education and Training in Denmark and Sweden

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Is the balance between concerns for efficiency and equality in vocational education and training (VET) institutions sustainable with the rise of the knowledge economy? This chapter studies reform trajectories in two VET systems committed to egalitarianism, the Swedish and the Danish. The chapter shows that obtaining both equality and efficiency in either the collectivist Danish system or state-led Swedish system is increasingly an untenable policy position. Thus, both systems ended up more focused on employers’ interests in the 2010s. In Sweden, the Gy11 reform limited mobility between VET and higher education, while reforms in Denmark instead focused on excluding the weakest students to attract stronger students and employers. However, stubbornly low admission numbers in both systems indicate that the strengthened focus on efficiency so far has not translated into increasing demand for VET from strong students. The variation between the two systems hinges in important ways on differences in the institutional setup of the respective systems: the Swedish system allows more discretion for the state, whereas in the Danish dual system employers are placed in a veto position.
Original languageDanish
Title of host publicationCollective Skill Formation in the Knowledge Economy
Number of pages25
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date20 Oct 2022
ISBN (Print)9780192866257
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2022
SeriesCollective Skill Formation in the Knowledge Economy

ID: 342092001