The Danish Production schools were created in the 1980s with the aim of combating youth unemployment. Production Schools offer alternative education opportunities to improve labour market integration. The fundamental aim of this type of school is to create a practical learning environment to support young people to complete and earn qualifications in general and vocational upper secondary education and/or maintain a job. The students are offered the opportunity to develop professional, social and personal skills through counselling, participation in practical work experience and production in different workshops ranging from areas such as metalwork, carpentry and textile work in theatre, media and music-based workshops. The focus is on social, personal and physical skills which are complemented by more formal knowledge and skills. Learning processes are organised through workshops and classroom teaching, but every young person is free to organise an individual course where they may challenge themselves and build their confidence.
The most significant challenge for production schools is to prepare and motivate “non-academic” students for the ordinary school system. The last legislative change in 2006focused the aims of Production Schools so that its most important task has been to build a bridge to vocational education and training through relevant practical and academic qualifications. In 2009, there were over 6,000 students in production schools. The student capacity at each school can vary from 20-25 to over 200. Generally speaking the schools are small, with half of the schools accepting fewer than 50 students. Today there are 78 Production Schools in Denmark.