University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), Centre for Learning and Socialisation
Lead researcher: Prof. Dr. Markus Neuenschwander
Duration: 01.12.2013 - 31.01.2018
Initial and continuing training are major factors in young people's career opportunities and prospects of finding employment. Education and training give young people a wider spectrum of career options, allow them to change tack away from an initial, perhaps unsuitable choice, and to take up a new activity which better suits their interests and skills. This research project investigates the vocational and professional education and training choices made at the end of compulsory schooling, once initial VET is completed and in young adulthood, and how these choices are implemented in the four years after they are made. The project also looks at the criteria applied by Human Resources in selecting young people for apprenticeships following compulsory schooling. To explain choices on vocational and professional education and training and how they are implemented, a socialisation theory-based expectancy-value model derived from Eccles (2005), Lent et al. (2002) and Holland (1959) is being developed, and expanded with concepts from career research (Heckhausen & Heckhausen, 2010) on stress and resource balance and on control theory.
This working model on regulating vocational career decisions is being examined in a longitudinal study (multi-cohort sequence design) in which young adults are requestioned after a period of two years and then after a further four-year period. An additional sample for each cohort was also included in the project (N > 800 in each cohort) and a fourth cohort with students beginning a bachelor degree at a university of applied sciences or university of teacher education in autumn 2014.
The large body of longitudinal data obtained allows the proposed working model on regulating vocational career decisions to be tested.