RCE Denmark - 2021


Apprentices for Sustainability
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Apprentices for Sustainability
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Denmark
Contributing organization(s) : 
NEXT-Education Copenhagen, UNESCO-Denmark, Danish Ministry of Education, Local education committee copenhagen, knowledge center for craft design and architecture, the trade union-3F, Horngroup, Master carpenter Logik & Co, Tuborg, Johannesfog fond, Merkur Bank, Bosch, Træfiberdanmark, Træinformation,
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Stephanie Halse
Organizational Affiliation: 
NEXT-Education Copenhagen
David Rangan
Organizational Affiliation: 
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Danish(English Summery)
Date of submission:
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Bekendtgørelse om erhvervsuddannelser. ( Executive Order on vocational education)
At what level is the policy operating?: 
The Danish UNESCO National Commission's strategic priorities in the field of culture 2019-2022
At what level is the policy operating?: 
DEG (Danish vocational schools and colleges) UN World Goals in Vocational Schools
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Transforming our world
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Address of focal point institution for project: 
NEXT-Tæbyvej 65, DK-2610 Rødovre
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The region of Denmark has a well-functioning democracy with free education and medical care for all. The level of trust in the authorities is also high. Also, a formal vocational education system with a 4-year craftsman education.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Unfortunately, we are among the regions that have the largest CO2 emissions. 40% of this comes from construction. There are many research and educational initiatives to change this, but unfortunately the trades are outside these initiatives. It is a brake on the sustainable conversion of construction.
November, 2019
The construction of the future is sustainable, but as long as we do not invest in dressing today's young people for a sustainable future, we train them to continue with CO2-heavy construction. It leaves the young people with lack of competencies to be able to contribute to the green transition and sustainable development in the construction industry.
The Copenhagen carpentry apprentices, however, want it differently and have been in theirs for a long time school periods in demand knowledge of world goals, green apprenticeships and competencies for sustainable construction. In Copenhagen, therefore, an apprentice-represented professional community called “Apprentices” has flourished for sustainability ”. The apprentices have set in motion a development that initially involved boats subject teachers and management within the wood subjects at NEXT - which supports its apprentices 100% - and since actors within the entire construction value chain
UNESCO concluded on the basis of qualitative interviews with students, teachers and leaders of 5 vocational schools that teaching sustainability motivates students when they experience getting concrete action competencies so that they can be agents of change that in companies and communities can be helping to create sustainable solutions. Based on this, the report recommended, among other things:
- That the work with sustainability takes place in partnerships
- That network collaborations are built on the exchange of didactic and methodological knowledge sustainability
- That emphasis is placed on both education for and education for sustainability
- That students are involved as a resource in the work with sustainability
- That the school designs a strategy that focuses on both the teaching and operation of the school
The pilot project "Apprentices for sustainable" has been a spearhead project that has investigated the possibilities in to translate the recommendations in the studies into practice in the carpentry education at NEXT, where we have asked the question:
How can the world goals, in a vocational education, be translated into action skills in apprentices, so they can participate in the sustainable transformation and what perspectives are there in this development?
Activities and/or practices employed: 
9 workshops and 16 mini workshops have been held for apprentices, teachers and decision makers. Teaching material has been developed for the entire course of carpentry education. The teaching has been implemented in the normal carpentry education. about 50 main courses of 6 weeks average 20 apprentices on each class. All apprentices have had the opportunity to learn sustainable building methods, as well as getting to know their trades through the Danish labour market model, tax system, welfare model, health and safety legislation, corporate forms in a sustainability perspective. In addition to this, 2-6 apprentices on each main course have chosen to upskill themselves by learning about sustainable construction methods at a specialised level. Here they have learned to build the main course normal complicated building structures, but with sustainable building methods.
A closing conference has been held in Parliament.
Size of academic audience: 
Over 1000 apprentices have been taught sustainability related to their profession, as well as sustainable construction methods. Over 200 have been taught sustainable building methods at a specialized and practical level. 15 Teachers have been professionally upskilling to be able to carry out training on these subjects. About 60 Education Directors and managers in the field have gained basic knowledge about the project's results. Three lectures were held at two different conferences in parliament. One online, the other at the Government Building Christiansborg.
Lessons learned: 
The biggest focus point has been to get the necessary knowledge anchored in the organization. Here, upskilling of teachers plays an important role. It has been possible to succeed in the short run, but in the long run the structures must be redone.
Key messages: 
The SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals, can translate into vocational training skills for apprentices so they can participate in a transition to sustainable practices - a development that contains several perspectives. We have indications that the development of sustainability teaching in carpentry education changes culture. The tone and values become more inclusive. We have several examples that this development is not limited to the school, but has spread among masters, builders, interest groups and wood loaders as an increased awareness and demand. In addition, there are several examples of apprentices who have participated in the project and have become sustainable entrepreneurs. The apprentices have acted as ambassadors.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
Not directly, but the project is based on sustainable forest management and thus relates to RCE projects in Indonesia for forest restoration, as well as work on the edge of the Sahara to plant trees.
Tuborg, Johannes Fog Fond, Merkur Bank


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon 1.jpg (1.65 MB) Discussing new building metodes David Rangan
Image icon ejner og anders.jpg (1.74 MB) To Apprentices develop knowledge about outer walls and bathrooms David Rangan
Image icon IMG_3447.jpg (606.72 KB) The first Apprentices for Sustainability Logic&co apprentice club
Image icon 4.jpg (436.04 KB) UNESCO Secretary General also learns to build sustainably Stephanie Halse
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level