The Future Potential of Vocational Education and Training: Strengthening VET for the next generation
2-4 February 2022 - Bern/Zollikofen, Switzerland
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|Location: Room 4|
|Date: Thursday, 03/Feb/2022|
|1:00pm - 2:30pm||Poster Session 4D|
Location: Room 4
Session Chair: Sonja ENGELAGE
The impact of technologization in the region on gendered occupational aspirations and career choices for STEM and health professions
1Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB), Germany; 2Research Center for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), Netherlands; 3Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi), Germany
Occupational gender segregation shows to be particularly persistent within vocational education and training (VET) occupations. In our study we focus on occupational aspirations and career choices of young men and women by contrasting two highly segregated fields of work: STEM professions (predominantly male), and health professions (predominantly female).
Research on gender-specific occupational aspirations focused either on individual context, such as preferences or gender role attitudes (e.g., Chesters, 2021; Ochsenfeld, 2016), or on overall conditions in the region, such as employment or training prospects (e.g., Glauser & Becker, 2016; Malin & Jacob, 2019). However, the role of technology in a region as a crucial driver of labor market changes has so far received little attention. Within the VET system an increasing use of technology through computerization and digitization offers new opportunities, but also challenges e.g., by substituting and complementing tasks (e.g., Autor et al., 2003).
Our research question reads: Does the regional level of technologization differentially impact occupational aspirations and career choices for men and women comparing STEM and health professions? Thus, we aim to investigate if regional technology intensity and innovation potential (e.g., measured as regional share of STEM employees (male/female), patent registrations, or technology applications in the region) influence occupational aspirations, e.g., by increasing/decreasing the attractiveness of STEM professions for women. We further seek to analyze how regional impacts on gendered occupational aspirations are transferred into gendered career choices.
By using data from Starting Cohort 3 and 4 of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), we can track young adults over nine years from 2010/11 through 2018/19. We are adding regional data from various administrative sources on regional technologization to the NEPS. First results suggest that women in regions with a low degree of technology have relatively higher aspirations for STEM occupations, supporting our central assumption about gender-differential impacts.
Unintended Consequences: A Game-Theoretic Analysis of Companies’ Provision of Training
ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Markets are very efficient in matching workers to firms. This mechanism is also used to match dual VET students with their training firms in most countries. One exception is Serbia, because they put more value in having equity among the student-firm matches.
This study analyses whether distributing dual VET students according to students’ firm preferences is indeed more beneficial for students. The crux is that firms’ decision to train might be influenced by the distribution mechanism in place. There are two potential effects which we elaborate in a theoretical framework based on game theoretical principals. On the one side firms might be reluctant to train when they experience to get weak students because they cannot benefit very much from them. Thus, the firms provide less training positions than they would otherwise, decreasing the number of training positions for students. On the other firms might increase their number of dual VET positions in order to get matched with at least one good student, which they will try to retain after the training. Thus, firms provide more training positions than they would otherwise, increasing the number of trained students.
Our dataset consist of Serbian survey data on roughly 130 firms in the years 2018-2021. The dataset includes information on the satisfaction of firms with their students, the number of VET positions the firms offer, some firm characteristics, the productivity of students and their time to reach the productivity of a skilled worker.
Our preliminary results show that the quality of students indeed influences the firms’ provision of training.
We contribute to the literature by using a game theoretical approach on the training provision of firms. This is important because different policies might be more or less successful in engaging employers to provide training positions, which in the end affects students.
Vocational education vs the general education: For the same job "customer advisors in French and Mexican banks".
Université de Bourgogne, France
The training-employment relationship is part of long-term dynamics, that explain, among other things, recruitment on the job market or the evolution of a training programs offer.
Based on a theoretical typology of training regimes from the literature, the thesis seeks to understand how the different actors in training and employment construct mechanisms of collaboration between the education and production systems.
The purpose of this thesis is to understand how training and employment are regulated in Mexico and France for the same sector and the same profession (bank client advisers).
Two methods of analysis, quantitative and qualitative, were used to answer the research questions. The quantitative section provides a general framework of the profiles and skills required by bank employers for a "customer advisor" position in both countries. We use the webscraping technique to create the database from the job advertisement website Indeed.com.
The qualitative analysis, based on interviews with training managers, allows for an understanding of the student selection process, the construction of the study program, the intensity of the relationship between the bank and the university, as well as the diversity of opinions regarding the different practices and skills that facilitate the insertion of graduates in the labor market. Our results show that the training-employment relationship is stronger in France. However, the profile of the graduates recruited is mostly at the bachelor's level and the interest in soft skills is similar in both countries, while the economies, the characteristics of the banking sector and even the training offer, are differ widely.
Identification of Relevant Indicators for Adaptive and Personalized Workplace Learning Environments
1University of Mannheim, Germany; 2Curtin University, Australia
Advances in educational technology and artificial intelligence offer benefits for implementing adaptive and personalized workplace learning environments (APWLE). Vast amounts of educational data can provide useful insights into learning behavior and can be leveraged to adapt the learning environment to individual needs and constantly changing work requirements. Yet, the identification of reliable indicators for supporting learning processes and implementing trusted APWLE remains a major challenge. Findings from previous research show that learning processes and outcomes are affected by the learning context (i.e., an individual’s internal and external learning resources and conditions). However, it remains unclear which specific indicators of the learning context (e.g., goal orientation, learning strategies, daytime) are most relevant when implementing APWLE. Thus, the aim of this research was to compare the effect sizes of different indicators of the learning context and to identify indicators that are strongly associated with learning processes and outcomes. Following an expert validation and prioritization from a list of 332 indicators, we focused on the following seven indicators of the learning context: age, goal orientation, learning strategies, course length, daytime, receiving feedback, and feedback type. We deployed a secondary analysis of a previously conducted systematic review and compared the results of 74 studies. All seven indicators considered in our analyses have been associated with learning processes and outcomes in the included studies. The strongest evidence could be detected for goal orientation (|r| ≤ .63, k = 24 studies) and feedback type (|r| ≤ .56, k = 6 studies). We conclude that indicators of the learning context––especially goal orientation and feedback type—can provide benefits when implementing APWLE. Future research should investigate how these indicators can be implemented in digital workplace learning settings as well as design and evaluate specific learning interventions based on these indicators.
Identification of new qualifications and competences (NQCs) through systematic monitoring of VET-relevant indicators
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Germany
The requirements for skilled workers are constantly changing – especially in terms of current technological, ecological and societal transformations. In order to strengthen VET for the next generation, it is important to identify the need for NQCs at a very early stage so that these requirements can be implemented in existing training regulations or new future-oriented occupations.
Accordingly, this research project aims to identify relevant indicators for a systematic monitoring of training and further education occupations which allows an early adaptation of skill requirements at the occupational level.
In a multi-layered methodological procedure, indicators are to be determined both exploratively and inductively, which, in the sense of Ansoff's theory (1975) of weak signals, allow changes to be recognized at an early stage. This includes a qualitative and quantitative analysis of training directives as well as a retrospective examination of selected cases to identify and validate relevant indicators. The research furthermore draws on existing analytical instruments for early detection in VET as well as already proven indicator sets – selectively completed by further surveys – and seeks to integrate them in an overall framework. This process will be completed by expert discussions with specialists from science and practice. Finally, the identified set of indicators will be examined in a pilot phase monitoring special occupations to evaluate both relevance and usability for a systematic monitoring.
Initial analysis underline the effect of a declining participation in certain VET and higher VET occupations as trigger for adjustments in VET training regulations. Further analyses aim to identify interactions with various factors to rule out erroneous conclusions as well as to identify further triggers for NQCs at an early stage.
|4:15pm - 5:45pm||Symposium 4: The future of vocational training in the 1950s and 1970s|
Location: Room 4
Session Chair: Lorenzo BONOLI
Session Chair: Philipp GONON
Discussant: Philipp GONON
In the years after the Second World War, several European countries reformed their vocational training systems by adopting measures and making choices that have marked the field to this day. Our symposium raises the question of the "future of vocational training" in this period in three European countries. In other words, what were the representations of the future of society and VET in the years 1950-1970 in Switzerland, Germany and France and to what extent did these representations shape the development of VET in the three countries considered here?
The 1950s and 1970s were years marked by an economic boom, a significant development of automation, a gradual expansion of the service sector, an acceleration in the pace of technical innovation, and major changes in social relations both in schools, with the democratisation of education, and in society, with the ‘68 . These events will have a profound influence on the future of society in general and vocational training in particular, which will be called upon to improve its quality, to review the content of its teaching, to integrate a greater number of young people and to ensure better conditions of equal opportunities.
Our symposium will allow us to examine how these events have influenced the debate in France, Germany and Switzerland and what concrete traces they have left to this day.
Is the future in the past our present? The future of Swiss VET in the 1950s-1970s. The foundations of the current situation.
1HEFP. Lausanne; 2Uni Zürich
In the period 1950-1970, Switzerland underwent major economic and social changes. The Swiss education system was under great pressure to adapt to these new conditions. The economic boom after the Second World War brought with it a series of new expectations and demands on the education system in general and on VET in particular. The reforms adopted at that time were inspired by a certain representation of what the 'future' might become. This representation of the future was strongly marked by the following factors: the economic boom and the gradual improvement in the living conditions of Swiss citizens; an acceleration in the pace of technological innovation and an increasing demand for qualified and highly qualified labour; a wide-spread demand for more comprehensive and general education, in order to train workers capable of 'controlling the machines' and to educate good citizens; and finally a more egalitarian organisation of the education system, reducing geographical and financial inequalities, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, ensuring quality training paths for all motivated and capable young people and support structures for the weakest profiles.
All this is reflected in concrete measures in the Swiss education system and in VET in particular, ranging from reforms of lower secondary education to the development of the grants system or to the expansion of the teaching of theoretical and general contents. However, even if we can identify a general movement throughout Switzerland, the cantons will react in different ways to the challenges raised by this future. An in-depth analysis of three cantons, Zürich, Geneva and Ticino, will allow us to see in concrete terms how this future was translated into measures at the level of cantonal VET policy, measures which are still central to the current situation of the Swiss VET system.
Planning for the future of VET: the French way (1945-1975)
Laboratoire Triangle, Université de Lyon, France
From 1945 to 1975, the French VET system was the subject of numerous reform projects, some of them successful, and of a few singular initiatives. These were carried out as much by educational and scientific institutions and actors, as by politicians, firms, interest groups and trade-unions. Those attempts sought to democratize, massify, extend and diversify the vocational training of French workers, responding to both social and economic demand.
Implemented in a context of economic planning, but within a state-framed market economy, these projects and achievements enabled the conception of a desirable model for the evolution of the production system. Those quantitative forecasts fuelled the restructuring of qualifications and skills. They specifically led to the enhancement of scientific and technical knowledge in the industrial world, and to the development of management. These changes were inspired by the US economic model. They favoured the education and training of engineers and technicians, as well as clerical workers.
This communication thus proposes to question the modalities of the forward planning of French VET system, highlighting its successes, like the development of new pathways (further and continuous training, technical higher education) and the extension of the vocational schools’ network. It also intends to reveal its main pitfalls, especially the growing divergence between VET and the labour market, exposed by the crisis of the Fordist model.
Continuity and Reform in German VET 1950 to 1970
University of Konstanz, Germany
The post-war history of VET in Germany is marked by the challenge to rebuild the country after the war by strengthening the economic system. The dominant theory in VET of the 1950s was to give companies a major say in organising training based on the apprenticeship system which had developed since the late 19th century. However, the "dual system", as it is called up to the present day, also required a certain amount of state influence, especially regarding the vocational part-time school as the second learning venue - something which originated before the Second World War. Due to the federalist tradition, this has been the responsibility of the federal states up to the present day. However, the stability of the dual system as a whole was creepingly challenged from the early 1960s onwards, including system reforms that were meant to reduce the overall responsibility of companies in the apprenticeship system. State influence, seen as a major concern of the reform protagonists of the 1960s and early 1970s, in fact led to a confinement of changes in the system. The Vocational Training Act did not install a new training system, but mainly „consolidated much previous practice under one Act“ (Raggatt). All in all, it may be said that the "conservative" character of the German VET system, its corporatist governance framework and the "occupational" orientation underlying training, was not challenged fundamentally, in the years between 1950 and 1970. Neither the influence of the occupying powers after the war nor the reform initiatives of the left-wing spectrum of the political system proved strong enough to change its basic features and underlying "philosophy".
The paper’s focus is on reconstructing the underlying drivers of these features of German VET representing an “updated past” even in the face of new challenges.
|Date: Friday, 04/Feb/2022|
|10:30am - 12:00pm||Paper Session 6D: International VET systems|
Location: Room 4
Session Chair: Lorenzo BONOLI
Evolutionary trajectories of dual systems in Europe: the risk of reproducing inequalities
The increasing weight of youth unemployment in Europe once again has thrown the spotlight on to apprenticeship as a tool with a relevant educational value which can smooth the school-to-work transition for young people. However, dual systems ability to match labour demand and supply has been severely threatened by global mega-trends, which over the last 50 years have been affecting economies, labour markets and education and training systems as well. European countries have been reacting to these changes by activating policies for strengthening the attractiveness of apprenticeship and the quality of vocational training. In the resultant transformation, dual systems seem to reduce their capacity to promote the social inclusion of disadvantaged young people. The analysis of the evolutionary trajectories of German, Austrian, Swiss and French dual systems can provide some hints for Italy. The national project launched in the last years to build an 'Italian way to the dual system' has been successful only in limited areas and so far seems to reproduce and enlarge the existing territorial inequalities. In a context of increasing youth unemployment due to the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic Covid-19, the expected re-definition of the Italian apprenticeship scheme following the suggestions coming from the European experiences could make it more effective in strengthening young people’s employability and employment.
How does Vocational Education and Training in Norway ensure a sustainable system to meet social inequality among students?
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
In this paper, we explore how a local, rural Vocational Education and Training system tackles social inequality and the risk of marginalization. More than 50% of the youth in upper-secondary education choose vocational education. However, some of them drop out, and drop-out rates are significantly connected to social backgrounds and parents’ educational levels. Simultaneously, the number of vocationally trained workers in the labor market has decreased. Dropping out from vocational education is not only a problem from a national economic perspective, but it also leads to the risk of marginalization in the labor market and society in general for the individual. The educational system is governed by law to include all students and ensure they receive a good education. However, the VET system is divided into several sub-systems that do not always communicate with each other. Through a case study that includes interviews with important stakeholders in the VET system and a survey directed to students in vocational education in upper-secondary school, we investigated social inequality in the system. The results reveal that different rationalities lead to decoupling and difficulties in constructing an integrated VET system. However, through close collaboration, communication, and a local interdisciplinary training office, different ideas can be translated, and common communication on social inequality can be achieved.
Vocational Training Pathways in Spain: the paradox of catching up dropouts
Universitat Autònoma de Barceona, Spain
For decades, education policy in Spain has aimed to promote vocational training, which is associated with a low status as a second track in relation to the academic track. Despite all efforts, vocational training is still biased in relation to the origin of the students who choose it. Based on census data from the Catalan territory, it is shown that access to vocational training is more common among students with low academic performance and among students who drop out of baccalaureate. Significant differences have also been found within vocational training, with some branches being more attractive than others are for lower-achieving students. This reality has a double reading or paradox from the point of view of educational policy: although vocational training maintains a lower status in relation to the academic track, it is a mechanism for catching up with school dropouts.
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