AMU-Fyn In English
Adult Vocational Training in Denmark is mainly provided as 'AMU'-training courses (AMU means training for the labour market). The Ministry of Labour supports and directs this facility together with the social partners, but the courses are run by financially independent training institutions (AMU-centres or technical colleges). The first legislation in this area came into force in1960.
AMU is specialised in training of low-skilled adults. The training methods take their starting point in the actual worksituation of the trainee. Class room teaching has been more or less abandoned in favour of learning in workshops in a way which resembles the work conditions in a company. About 250,000 adults participate in AMU courses every year, half of them are workers with only a basic school education. A little more than half of the trainees are employed, the balance are seeking employment.
AMU provides training in almost all trades, industries and services. A few examples are: building and construction (e.g. concrete technology), metal industry (e.g. welding and CNC-machinery), food and beverages (e.g. operating computer controlled equipment) but also, for instance, auto mechanics, textile and electronics. A total of 56 different trades and industries are covered.
Two types of training products are offered. The first is standard courses at all levels ranging from introductory courses to highly specialised courses in advanced technologies. The second is tailor-made courses for companies, municipalities and the employment service. AMU applies more than 1900 individual standard curricula, which are nationally acknowledged. The curricula are interconnected as modules leading to specialisation. The modules have a duration of 1 - 6 weeks.
Adapting the curricula
The updating of courses and development of new training programmes is mainly the responsibility of a number of tripartite trade committees. The committees monitor their specific trade area and evaluate existing training. After identifying new development needs, experienced AMU-trainers and other specialists are hired for the task of developing new curricula, which must then be certified by the Minister of Labour. In average a complete renewal of the curricula takes place every 2-3 years. A further adaptation of the curricula takes place at each AMU training centre to ensure that their training programmes meet the specific needs of the local labour market and its trainees.
The constant changes of technology and production methods impose new demands on the employees, and the AMU-courses respond to the related need for more self-dependent workers. It is done through project-organised training, where the trainees must co-operate and act as active learners, not as passive listeners. Advanced learning technologies are applied. Soft skills In addition to technical skills, AMU emphasises that the trainees develop social and communicative skills and also offers training in general skills like language and mathematics. Reading receives a lot of attention, since reading skills are essential in an information based society.