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PRELIMINARY Session Overview
Paper Session 2B: Training conditions and success
Wednesday, 02/Feb/2022:
3:30pm - 5:00pm

Location: Room 2

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When do compromises in occupational choice threaten the stability of vocational education and training? The interplay of occupational interests with gender type and prestige

Corinna KLEINERT1, Lea AHRENS1, Melanie FISCHER2, Brigitte SCHELS2

1Leibniz-Institut für Bildungsverläufe; 2University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

This study examines whether premature termination of vocational training is more likely when trainees had to make compromises between their realistic occupational aspiration and their occupation trained for in terms of gender type, prestige and occupational interests. It further investigates the interplay of social aspects of compromises on the one hand, and compromises in occupational interests on the other hand. The study is based on a sample of trainees from a cohort of 9th graders in 2010 in the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS-SC4). Results from event history models indicate that compromises in interests in first occupational choice threaten the stability of vocational training. Compromises in interests are particularly influential when realistic occupational aspirations are met with regard to the social aspects of occupational choice, but also when trainees have entered less gender-typical occupations or more prestigious occupations.

The task structure of adolescents’ occupational aspirations


Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB), Germany

Adolescents’ occupational aspirations have been explained by both sociological theories (which emphasize the relevance of social background or gender) and psychological theories (which stress the role of how personality traits match with the work content of particular occupations). We argue that an explicit measure of the respective job tasks of the aspired occupation enriches both sociological theories’ demand to unveil specific dimensions of social stratification in the structure of occupational aspirations, and psychological theories’ demand for a satisfactory explanation of the match between adolescents’ personality and future work content. While the job task approach has been used to predict labor-market income or on-the-job search, its relation to individuals’ occupational preferences is less clear. We first use the German Work Employment Survey 2011/12 to estimate the distribution of job tasks on the level of occupations. We then merge these estimates to adolescents’ idealistic and realistic occupational aspirations as measured in the Starting Cohort 4 of the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS-SC4). Using the latter data for predictive modeling, we observe positive female gender effects on the non-routine task components, and negative ones on the routine task components of occupational aspirations. Also, adolescents’ openness is positively associated with both the analytic and non-routine task component of occupational aspirations. Yet, additional analyses reveal that effects may be heterogeneous depending on the typical educational track (academic vs. vocational) of the aspired occupation.

The cognitive requirement level of training occupations in Germany

Anett FRIEDRICH1,2, Daniela Rohrbach-Schmidt1, Nicolas Sander2

1Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Germany; 2Bundesagentur für Arbeit, Nuremberg, Germany

Training occupations are not homogenous; they differ in various aspects e.g. their training duration, their specificity and their standardisation. A further important distinction are the requirements with regards to skill and ability of apprentices. So far, in Germany, the cognitive requirement level of a training occupation is usually approximated by the level of previous schooling of the trainees. However, such an operationalisation is rather problematic, because the distribution of school-leaving certificates within a training occupation not only depends on the requirements of the training but also on the supply and demand for training positions. In our research project, we operationalise the cognitive requirement level of training occupations based on information provided by the Vocational Psychology Service of the Federal Employment Agency. To give career guidance to young apprenticeship seekers, the Vocational Psychology Service measures the general intellectual capacity of a training occupation. We validate the suitability of this measure for social research. Further, we classify three categories of the cognitive requirement level (i.e. low, medium, high) and characterise them based on (among others) the number of new training contacts, contract dissolution and the relationship of unfilled training places and VET applicants.

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