Interview with Ulrich Reimannn

Organisation responsible for the interview: SOSU Østjylland

Country: Denmark

Occupation: Youth education counsellor

Date of the interview: 8.05.2023

Short summary of the interview

The very young either know for sure what they want to do, or they are completely undecided. Get to know what their interests are. Start by finding out if they are interested in something within vocational education and training (we want more people in VET). Most often, they will attend Preparatory Basic Education (FGU) if they are completely undecided.

Typically, the girls go for an upper secondary education and alternatively they apply for SOSU programs. A few are interested in the “black” trades (blacksmith, carpenter, etc.), but this is only one out of many. They are often influenced by family (fathers or siblings) who are in the field.  The boys are more mixed between upper secondary and vocational education and training (EUD/EUX).

Especially the very young (16-18 year olds) are very influenced by their parents. Cooperation between youth education counsellors and parents is also important. Parents often have the last word. Parents and siblings can put pressure on them to go to upper secondary school. Parental background influences educational choices. Some may be very open about their children making educational choices other than upper secondary school, but may indirectly influence young people by talking about their own experiences.

Some of the general prejudices we hear are that girls don’t have the physical strength, they can’t do the same things. Some apprenticeships can be a bit lukewarm towards female trainees – it’s a bit of a “hassle”. Another prejudice is a more girls have a “caring gene” than boys, which is why more girls apply for careers in social work and nursing.

Statements of utmost importance – top statements/ information

Identifying prejudices and challenging them? Youth to youth – role model programs. This can change young people’s prejudices. The good ambassadors lead to young people becoming interested in the different programs that the ambassadors represent.