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European countries are striving to increase secondary school completion rates as part of their labor market planning. Denmark has taken an approach that places youth education guidance counselors at the center of their efforts. Based on interviews with 25 counselors and 10 other education leaders, this article explores the role and practice of these Danish counselors in regard to meeting state education goals. While the counselors strongly support the country’s high educational goal, they have concerns about its attainability, its across-the-board application, and coercive, or ‘individual-blaming’ elements of its implementation. Countries wishing to adopt this model should consider the fit between counseling philosophy and policy so as to avoid role conflict.

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This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling. The final authenticated version is available online at:


Sociology and Anthropology

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