(German Youth Institute, Munich)

Transition from lower to upper secondary education in Switzerland and Germany: Educational and vocational careers of young adults from lower secondary schools with basic intellectual requirements

The proposed paper examines educational and vocational pathways of young people from schools with basic intellectual requirements in Germany and Switzerland. Starting with a conceptual framework which provides a common basis for different types of placements in the educational and vocational systems of both countries – including vocational education and training and various kinds of training schemes – we subsequently compare typical patterns of training careers: To what extent can we find similarities and differences in the transition pathways in both countries? In what way do different factors influence a smooth transition? We use panel data from the DJI-Transition Panel and from the German-speaking part of the Transition from Education to Employment Project (TREE) in Switzerland and analyze the first years after compulsory school. We employ optimal-matching and cluster analyses to identify different types of educational and vocational pathways. Furthermore, we use regression analyses to test whether educational attainment, gender, social status of parents, migration background and regional labor market situation predict membership in these types of pathways. First results show significant differences: While the entry in upper secondary education is much smoother in Switzerland and leads more often to early qualified employment, the transition from education to employment in Germany shows much more variety and takes more time. While educational pathways in both countries show differences, there also exist strong similarities concerning the pattern of the five influential factors we have been looking at.

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