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Internationally, the advantages of vocationally oriented education systems are emphasised. In countries with a strong dual vocational education and training (VET) system, vocationally trained individuals experience rapid transitions into the labour market and comparatively high entry wages. This pertains to the Swiss education and training system as well, which is characterised by a high degree of vocational specificity. This leads to a close link between the training occupation and the subsequent employment, as well as low occupational mobility throughout the career. However, this... [+] Show more
Internationally, the advantages of vocationally oriented education systems are emphasised. In countries with a strong dual vocational education and training (VET) system, vocationally trained individuals experience rapid transitions into the labour market and comparatively high entry wages. This pertains to the Swiss education and training system as well, which is characterised by a high degree of vocational specificity. This leads to a close link between the training occupation and the subsequent employment, as well as low occupational mobility throughout the career. However, this comparative research often overlooks the fact that there is significant variation in institutional characteristics within vocationally oriented training systems as well, which can lead to different labour market returns after VET. This is the starting point of this dissertation, which asks to what extent institutional dimensions of the Swiss VET system influence wages or wage development, upward and downward status mobility and the transition to further, tertiary education. Furthermore, the interplay between institutional and individual characteristics, like gender and socio-economic background are examined. On the one hand, the institutional dimensions refer to the training occupations directly, namely their occupational specificity, standardisation, and vertical differentiation. On the other hand, different labour market segments are considered in which training companies are located.
Empirically, two main steps were carried out. First, the institutional characteristics of the over 500 Swiss training occupations were conceptualised, operationalised and measured based on occupation-specific training plans and ordinances. Second, the impact of the institutional characteristics on labour market outcomes were addressed by means of quantitative analysis, using datasets, dependent variables, and modelling strategies appropriate to the research question at hand. The results show that wages, occupational status mobility and transitions to tertiary education clearly differ even within vocationally oriented education systems. Different forms of skills (general, specific) and the type of knowledge transfer (practical, theoretical) are particularly important for wages and status development during the early career, while vertically differentiated training occupations, only show positive effects in the longer term. The standardisation of examinations can even have a detrimental effect. Furthermore, differentiating the effect of specificity on wages along the lines of gender and the gender typology of occupations reveals new possibilities to understand the gender pay gap. The results suggest that wage returns to skills for men and women are determined by a complex interplay between gender, gendered performance expectations and occupation-specific skill endowment. Finally, the analysis of different labour market segments shows that even within the same training occupation, the segment of the training company matters for career development. VET diploma holders who trained in a labour market segment with institutionalized career pathways (primary segment) are more likely to enter higher education than those who trained in a segment without institutionalized career pathways (secondary segment). Especially those with a lower socio-economic background profit from training in the primary segment. Thus, overall, this dissertation draws attention to within-country variation in institutional characteristic of the training system by analysing the importance of training occupation characteristics and labour market segments for early labour market returns.
Author's abstract.[-] Show less
Keywords: VET for secondary students; Entry level training; Education and training system; Dual system; Transition from education and training to employment; Entry into working life; Transition from secondary to further education and training; Employment outcomes; Wage; Training program; Occupation; Relevance of education and training; Training employment relationship; Education work relationship; Return on education and training; Socioeconomic background; Institutional role; Institutional characteristic
Published: Hanover, Germany: Leibniz Universitat Hannover, 2021
Physical description: [xii], 115 p.