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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure DK-2020-18/2045 – measures in Denmark

New wage subsidy scheme for apprentices, students, and companies

Ny løntilskudsordning til lærlinge, studerende og virksomheder

Country Denmark , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 May 2020 – 31 December 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Tripartite agreements
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Carsten Jørgensen (FAOS, University of Copenhagen), Anders Randrup (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Measure added 12 October 2021 (updated 20 January 2022)

Background information

In spring 2020, the government and the social partners have agreed to spend more than DKK 5 billion on initiatives for apprentices, students and businesses. The government and the social partners have entered into a tripartite agreement to students, apprentices and Danish companies through funds from the Employers' Education Contribution (AUB).

Content of measure

The agreement contains several initiatives to make it financially manageable for companies that are in a difficult situation, due to the corona crisis, to create new apprenticeships. The parties to the agreement agree to introduce a wage subsidy scheme for companies that have apprentices or want to hire apprentices. The initiatives are intended to ensure that pupils can complete their education in the event that they lose their apprenticeship as a result of the crisis.

  • For the rest of the year, companies will receive 75% of their current apprentices' wages. In addition, wage subsidies are given for new agreements of 45% for short appointments and 90% for ordinary training agreements, respectively.
  • All employers in both the public and private sectors will receive an increased salary refund during school stays by 20% in the second half of 2020.
  • Funds are allocated to a number of initiatives to ensure that pupils have easier access to school internships. It also envisages investing in the quality of school internships.
  • The AUB scheme will be balanced by introducing a flexible AUB contribution from 2021 to ensure that income and expenditure balance over time and can accommodate an increased activity in vocational education and training.

Use of measure

In the first half of 2020, 1,400 fewer agreements were entered into compared to the first half of 2019. At the end of June 2020, just over 5,100 students were in school internships. That is an increase of 11% compared to 2019 for June only.

Throughout 2020, just over 38,000 apprenticeship agreements have been entered into (not including social health care and childcare). This is more than 2,500 more than in 2019. In the whole of 2020, compared with 2019, 9% more apprenticeship agreements have been entered into, where especially the woodworking construction education and the masonry education have contributed with many new agreements, and there have been large percentage increases in educations such as furniture carpenter (+49%) and carpenter (+48%).

The figures indicate that the tripartite agreement is working as intended as the before decreasing numbers have increased.


  • Training and employability

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Employers' organisations
Employers organisation
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Unknown Unknown

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions

The social partners endorse the agreement.

Both the The Danish Trade Union Confederation (FH) and The Confederation Danish of Employers (DA) have expressed being pleased with the agreement, which benefits both students as well as companies and will positively affect the labour market.

In a Tripartite agreement on increased apprenticeships from 2016 a goal was to get 8-10,000 more apprenticeships per year in year 2025 compared to the 35,000 in the year 2016. FH states that the goal is still a long way to go. It is further stated that the agreement is a short term solution and that the parties have agreed to revisit the topic in year 2021 for a more long-term solution. No official agreement has come out of that yet.


  • 01 May 2020: Trepartsaftale om ekstraordinær hjælp til elever og lærlinge samt virksomheder (
  • 28 May 2020: Over fem milliarder kroner skal holde hånden under lærlinge, elever og virksomheder (
  • 25 August 2020: Stigning i antallet af lærepladser i juni (
  • 25 February 2021: Trepartsaftaler holdt hånden under lærepladser i 2020 (
  • 05 October 2021: Arbejdsgiverforeningen KA (


Eurofound (2021), New wage subsidy scheme for apprentices, students, and companies, measure DK-2020-18/2045 (measures in Denmark), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.