Factors determining the choice of occupation and the likelihood of completing a chosen VET programme (DAB III)

University of Bern, Institute of Educational Science

Lead researcher: Prof. Dr. Rolf Becker & Dr. David Glauser

Duration: 01.04.2016 – 31.10.2020

DAB-III is the follow-up study to the surveys previously conducted as part of the DAB panel study on the transition between school and work among the cohort that completed compulsory schooling in 2013. In DAB-I, between 3,300 and 3,800 pupils were surveyed in the middle of 8th grade (Jan/Feb 2012) and at the beginning and end of 9th grade (Sept/Oct 2012; May/June 2013) about their educational goals in classroom interviews using online questionnaires. DAB-II focussed on the educational programmes students had actually embarked on 15 months after finishing compulsory education. 2,237 young people were surveyed using a mixed mode design (online questionnaire combined with computer assisted telephone interviews) in Oct/Nov 2014. DAB III focuses on the progress and completion of the first training programmes undertaken after compulsory schooling on the one hand, and further vocational/general qualifications and the transition to working life on the other. DAB III will once again employ a mixed mode survey combining online questionnaires and computer assisted telephone interviews. The first of the three planned surveys being conducted for DAB III took place in June 2016 with 2,229 respondents. Two further surveys are planned in May 2017 and May 2018.

DAB-III focuses on issues related to the completion of training programmes embarked on upper secondary level and the transition following an initial training programme at upper secondary level. The study is therefore not only interested in which upper secondary training programmes are completed but also whether individuals surveyed in DAB-I and/or DAB-II have remained in the VET system or whether they have entered the labour market. For those who wish to enter the labour market, the study looks at which individuals manage this transition successfully following a given initial training programme with regard to access to permanent and appropriate employment, the offer of employment in the training organisation, time taken to obtain (stable) employment and level of income. For those seeking further qualifications and therefore remaining in the VET system, the study looks at which training programmes are chosen and how differences, such as social background, gender, migration background and regional opportunities and limitations can be explained.

DAB-III will help answer a wide range of relevant questions from the fields of VET, labour market and occupational research, which could not previously be addressed with the longitudinal data available in Switzerland. By taking into account professional/educational aspirations before young people complete an initial training programme after compulsory schooling, longitudinal data will be available for the first time in German-speaking Switzerland that can be used to review whether and how well the employment found when students enter the labour market and the chosen type of further qualification tally with the aspirations expressed at an earlier stage. The data collected as part of DAB III will not only allow a longitudinal description of training after leaving compulsory education and entry into the labour market, but also an analysis of previously unanswered questions regarding the structure and contingency of school and vocational training processes and educational returns: do educational plans, ideas and aspirations correspond with training programmes completed and first jobs? Which factors determine whether training and employment aspirations are successfully realised? Which individuals should revisit their training and/or career aspirations, and what are the underlying measures and processes?