Education while unemployed

Within certain limits, you can participate in courses and education to improve your qualifications and thereby your chances of returning to the labour market.

Whatever course you wish to take, you must inform CA. We will then decide whether you can retain your benefit rights during the course or if you are eligible for other benefits.

Read about your right to participate in the below mentioned educational schemes:


Education programmes: not certified by the Danish Students’ Grants and Loans Scheme (SU); less than 20 hours per week

You may participate in all forms of education as long as the weekly lectures take up less than 20 hours per week. No programmes entitling to receive SU are included.

What matters is whether the programme entitles its full-time students to claim SU, not whether you are personally entitled to SU while studying. Thus, taking a single subject that otherwise forms part of an SU-certified programme excludes you from receiving benefits.

This rule prevents you from claiming benefits if you follow an Open University programme, for example, because their courses are part of university programmes that entitle students to SU. But there is a special rule regarding Open Education (see below).

The following are examples of courses of less than 20 weekly hours that you can study, as they are not SU-certified: BCom (‘HD’), MBA, MPA, estate agent diploma training, and teacher training for candidates with qualifications from previous education (‘meritlærer’).

The programme’s stipulated time of study must be less than 20 hours per week. Thus, restricting your participation to fewer hours does not change this. For distance education, we base our decision on the course provider’s information on the required number of hours if classes were given on location.


Open Education: maximum 6 hours per week

Open Education is a possibility if the programme or course has a connection with your previous education or work field.

You can only participate in Open Education until your activation period starts after 39 weeks of unemployment.

Members under 30 or above 49 years of age who participate in Open Education according to this rule can only do so during their first 13 weeks of unemployment, 

In every single week, no more than 6 hours of lectures are permitted. If this limit is exceeded, you must be able to document that weekly class time equals no more than 1/3 student full-time equivalent. If for example a full-time equivalent is equal to 24 hours per week, the maximum number of hours in each week is 8.

The course provider will give you further details on the full-time equivalent per year.

Please note that the rule regarding 6 hours or one third of a full-time equivalent is relevant only for SU-certified programmes or courses that also form part of an SU-certified programme.

If the Open Education course is not a part of an SU-certified programme, you can participate provided lectures take up less than 20 hours per week.


6-week job-oriented education

Job-oriented education is an option for you if you are either an unskilled or a skilled worker or if you have a degree from a business academy or similar short-cycle higher education, in combination with vocational training. This means that applications for a job-oriented course will not be approved if your education is at a more advanced level. This applies also if you have never worked within your trade or profession.

If you belong to the target group, you must:

  • have been unemployed for a total of 5 weeks before course start*
  • be able to complete the course before your total unemployment period exceeds 39 weeks (26 weeks for the under 25s)
  • be full-time unemployed
  • be registered as unemployed with the jobcenter 

* A 2-year test period beginning 1 March 2017 allows you to start on courses of special relevance to labour market needs from the first day of unemployment.

What courses are offered?

The course must be aimed at a specific occupational group and appear on the national list of 6-week job-oriented courses. You will find this on the Danish Agency for the Labour Market and Recruitment’s website, which also has a short list of courses of more than 6 weeks (in Danish only).

Participation in courses of more than 6 weeks requires approval from the jobcenter. 

How to apply

Start by contacting the course provider, who will guide you through your opportunities for courses.

Having decided on a course, you must submit an application form (AR 237) to CA (in Danish). Your course provider will help you.

During the course

While you follow the course you must be registered as unemployed on and continue to confirm every 7th day that you are looking for a job. You must also be available for work that the jobcenter or CA may refer you to. However, there is no obligation to seek work or participate in meetings with us or the jobcenter.

If your course is approved you will receive benefits during the course. You can also apply for compensation of transport expenses.


Courses funded by the regional education fund

The jobcenters may accept short, vocational training courses offering counselling and skill development funded by a regional education fund.

The regional education funds aim at enabling more benefit recipients to take short training courses specifically targeting vocational areas where job openings are expected within the next 6 months.

Please contact your jobcenter to learn more about this opportunity.


Vocational courses

If a vocational course improves your attachment to the labour market, you are allowed to participate full-time for the first 2 weeks. The course must be organized by your jobcenter, your trade union or CA.

For courses of more than 2 weeks, you can claim benefits for the whole course period if classes take less than 20 hours per week after the first 2 weeks.


Other courses

If you are under 25 years of age and have been unemployed for less than 6 months, you can furthermore participate in courses

  • offering Danish state school grades 8, 9 and 10, irrespective of the weekly number of class hours
  • offering single subjects at upper-secondary level (HF, HHX, HTX and STX), taking less than 20 hours per week
  • at folk high schools (daytime or boarding) or production colleges

You are entitled to benefits at half of the maximum rate. After 6 months, or when you turn 25, you can no longer claim benefits while following these courses. 


Relevant form

You'll need this form if you are applying to have your education while unemployed approved:

Please note: The form is in Danish.