Interview with Margit Thordal

Organisation responsible for the interview: SOSU Østjylland

Country: Denmark

Occupation: Guidance Counsellor 

Small Bio/CV: Margit have been working as a guidance counsellor for the last 15 years at SOSU Østjylland. She is involved in student intake, as well as student wellbeing and completion of the different programmes.

Date of the interview: 26.04.2023

Short summary of the interview

At the admission interviews (red. admission to SOSU Østjylland), the standard answer is “I want to work with people” or “I think I have a nurturing gene” when asked why they have applied to the school. Both boys and girls give these answers.  
The SOSU career is still a career where people, unfamiliar with the jobs, assume that “you just have to wipe arse”. We are dealing with something that is difficult to change – the young people’s perception of what is more prestigious and peer pressure from their social circle. Mostly women and a few men choose the programs. We have quite a few boys with immigrant background, almost 50% of the boys/men have immigrant backgrounds. A number of years ago, we had a male student with an immigrant background who became a role model for the school/programs. It attracted some people then and maybe it still does, we don’t know for sure.

Statements of utmost importance – top statements/ information

Influence depends on the age group. For young people, aged 17-19, it seems that their parents play a major role together with other role models e.g. close family or friends. Society’s image of the education programs also influences their choice. Young people are more stereotypically influenced – maybe they are less sure of their own identity? Perhaps less self-confident?