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Les trajectoires d’insertion des jeunes peu qualifiés en Suisse et en Allemagne

Chances of young adults from lower secondary schools with basic intellectual requirements in Switzerland and Germany: Mastering (or failing) the second threshold
Boris Geier, Sandra Hupka-Brunner et Nora Gaupp
p. 149-166

Résumés

Cet article étudie les trajectoires d’accès au marché du travail des jeunes ayant suivi des filières à exigences scolaires modestes en Allemagne et en Suisse. Pour ces jeunes, les opportunités post-obligatoires sont restreintes à des filières de formation professionnelle peu qualifiantes, et ils courent un risque considérable de non-insertion professionnelle en cas d’échec. En prenant appui sur des enquêtes longitudinales de l’Institut Allemand pour la Jeunesse (German DJI- TRANSITION PANEL) et du Projet suisse « Transition de l’École à l’Emploi » (TREE), analysant six années postérieures à l’enseignement obligatoire, on observe des freins importants à l’insertion des jeunes avec des modestes qualifications sur le marché du travail, surtout s’ils n’ont pas achevé leur formation professionnelle. Dans les deux pays, ces jeunes rencontrent des difficultés, mais la transition vers l’emploi semble mieux structurée en Suisse qu’en Allemagne où elle est plus hétérogène. Par ailleurs, les résultats montrent l’influence conjuguée du genre, de l’origine sociale et migratoire, du niveau d’éducation et de la situation locale du marché du travail dans les trajectoires de ces jeunes.

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1. Introduction: Vocational pathways and labor market outcomes for young adults with basic education

1The acquisition of educational and vocational certificates determines young adults’ chances of successful placement in the labor market (OECD/CPRN, 2005; Schoon & Silbereisen, 2009). In terms of the interconnections between (lower secondary) educational and vocational (upper secondary) systems and their impact on labor market outcomes (OECD/CPRN, 2005), European countries differ significantly. While between 1960 and 1980 most school systems in Western Europe moved toward comprehensive structures of integrated schooling at the lower secondary level (up to grades nine or ten), Switzerland and Germany still continue to stream pupils into different types of secondary schools after elementary education. In Germany, there are up to three types of secondary schools that vary between the states: a lower-level secondary school (Hauptschule), an intermediate-level school (Realschule), and an advanced-level school (Gymnasium – in which pupils are prepared for university entrance). In some German states Hauptschule and Realschule have been integrated into one type of secondary school. But there still are separate educational streams even within these integrated schools.

2In Switzerland, there are also different types of schools depending on the canton. The schools are commonly distinguished along the lines of basic, intermediate, and advanced intellectual requirements. Lower-level secondary schools with basic requirements are mostly called “Realschulen” and are similar to the German “Hauptschule. The schools called “Sekundarschule” (literally secondary schools) have intermediate and advanced requirements, advanced-level schools (Kantonsschule, Gymnasium) are the most demanding school types and prepare for university entrance.

3While structure and traditions of the two schools systems resemble each other to a great extend, the inner logic regarding mobility between different kinds of streams slightly differs. In Germany school leaving certificates play an important role and establish a hierarchically ordered system of achievement. Thus, pupils with lower-level school certificates have the chance to remain in the system of general education in order to gain a higher-level school certificate on a higher-level school. In Switzerland, school leaving certificates practically do not exist when it comes to mobility between the initial school streams. Instead of that, Switzerland has an integrated system for higher education (Berufsmaturitätsschule) where general education and vocational training take place in parallel. With respect to these differences we proceed to compare pupils with similar starting conditions: all students are at the end of compulsory schooling and have to make an (educational) choice. Rather than on school certificates, the focus has to be on school types i.e. educational streams. Therefore we observe the trajectories of pupils of the respective lowest stream after compulsory schooling which ends after 9 years in both countries.

4Due to the general rise in levels of education (OECD, 2008), less-educated school-leavers (as Hauptschüler in Germany and to a lesser extend Realschüler in Switzerland) suffer increasingly from being labeled a marginalized minority (Solga, 2002). Especially in countries such as Germany and Switzerland where pupils are selected into different educational tracks early on, this kind of differentiation sustains social inequalities (e.g. Maaz et alii, 2007). It is assumed, however, that the unequal opportunities created by separate levels of (lower) secondary schools are compensated for by an apprenticeship system at upper secondary level that supposedly ensures fast access to vocational training and skilled employment for graduates from the lower-level secondary schools.

5Switzerland and Germany provide a sophisticated vocational education and training (VET) system. The key institution is vocational education and training in apprenticeships (Müller et alii, 1998; Skrobanek et alii, 2009). These apprenticeships are strongly standardized and divided into vocational segments. Most of the vocational training provided takes place within enterprises, on the basis of a contractual relationship between apprentice and enterprise. While in many other European countries (particularly in Western Europe), access to skilled employment is obtained through vocational training in secondary schools, the German and Swiss apprenticeship system traditionally provides school-leavers with high-quality vocational training in enterprises upon completing compulsory education. The system provides access to this type of training at an early age and enables its graduates to obtain attractive positions in the labor market at a younger age than their peers in other European countries. Comparatively low unemployment rates for young people (particularly in comparison with countries in which vocational training takes place in schools) appear to prove the point that the apprenticeship system partly compensates for the potential disadvantages of early streaming in school and provides a relatively fast school-to-work transition for school-leavers who have completed general compulsory schooling only.

6While this has mostly held true in the past, the functioning of this apprenticeship system is endangered by an increasing scarcity of training positions within the system (Skrobanek et alii, 2009). Furthermore, the level of school education attained crucially influences the level of vocational education that young graduates can access, and ultimately, the type and level of vocational certificates have a strong influence on their future labor market position (Bertschy et alii, 2009; Frommberger, 2009; Heinz, 2009; Konietzka, 2002). Accordingly, this situation is commonly referred to as two thresholds that young people have to overcome: the first from school to VET and the second from VET to employment (Autorengruppe Bildungsberichterstattung, 2008; Gangl et alii, 2003; Beicht et alii, 2008; Stalder & Nägele, 2011). In regard to the second threshold, completion of a formal vocational training program (dual vocational training, master craftsman school, state-approved school, university, or the like) is the most important precondition for obtaining a qualified and secure job (OECD, 2009). Therefore, adults without formal vocational qualification have an increased risk of unemployment (Buchholz & Kurz, 2005; OECD/CPRN, 2005).

7The following article deals with the question of how young graduates of the lowest level schools in Switzerland and Germany fare in mastering the second threshold. In a first step, we describe pathways through the educational and vocational system and the proportions and temporal structure of successful and unsuccessful types of careers. In a second step, we examine determinants of different transitional biographies. Finally, we evaluate the quality of labor market outcomes and discuss the influencing factors.

8A previous study (Hupka-Brunner et alii, 2011) on the first threshold, i.e. the transition to VET, revealed differences in the vocational pathways between the two countries. Germany’s educational system offers a great variety of pathways that lead to VET at different points. In contrast, pathways in Switzerland are more homogeneous and tend to follow a more stringent temporal and institutional pattern. Thus, young adults make the immediate transition to VET after compulsory school in Switzerland quite often, whereas in Germany unsuccessful transitions are more frequent. In Switzerland, we rarely observe any pathways that lead to persistent periods of unskilled employment or unemployment. In Germany, it is quite characteristic to resume school to achieve higher certificates – a pathway that plays no important role in Switzerland, which again is one consequence of the practically non-existing relevance of school leaving certificates in Switzerland.

9Apart from the differences in the pathways commonly found in each country, previous analyses showed strong similarities between the two countries when it comes to the factors that influence the outcome of the transitions. Five major factors and their effects were more closely investigated: gender, migration background, school achievement, social status, and labor market situation. Young women, migrants, and youths with lower school credentials carry a higher risk of unsuccessful transitions in both countries. Only in Germany the situation in the labor market showed an effect on the probability of successfully making the transition at the first threshold. In areas with a higher unemployment rate, there is a greater risk of unsuccessful transitions. Social background, however, seemed to have an effect only in Switzerland.

2. Data

10We used panel data from the DJI Transition Panel (Reißig et alii, 2008) and from the part of the Transition from Education to Employment project (TREE) pertaining to German-speaking Switzerland (Tree, 2010) and analyzed the first six years after compulsory school (Switzerland: July 2000 to November 2005, Germany: July 2004 to November 2009). Thus, the period of observation covered the first and – for most of the youths – the second transitional threshold.

11The German subsample included pupils who left compulsory school after the ninthor tenth grade with no or a general education school-leaving certificate (Hauptschulabschluss). The Swiss subsample only included pupils from schools with basic requirements (Realschule) accordingly. Table 1 summarizes basic characteristics of the two samples.

Table 1: Description of the samples

Switzerland

Germany

Last grade attended

9

9 or 10

Age*

16.2

16.4

Female

50.8%

42.9%

Migration background

36.8%

55.1%

N

370

615

*in July of the last compulsory school year.

Table 2: Comparison of educational positions in Switzerland and Germany

Switzerland

Common status variable

Germany

VET with high requirements (3 to 4 years)

VET at upper secondary level (ISCED level 3) with high requirements

VET with high requirements
(3 to 3½ years)

Elementary VET (2 years)

VET at upper secondary level (ISCED level 3) with low requirements

VET with low requirements
(2 to 3 years)

VET with low requirements (3 to 4 years)

Specialized upper secondary schools or advanced schools of general education for university entrance diploma

General education at
upper secondary level (ISCED level 3)

Specialized upper secondary schools or advanced schools of general education for university entrance diploma

University, university of applied sciences, tertiary vocational education

Tertiary education

University, university of applied sciences

Non-certifying elementary VET (1 year max.)

Intermediate steps (vocational/general education)

Continuation of school at SEK I level for intermediate secondary school-leaving certificate

Preparation course (1 year max.)

Voluntary additional year in school

Vocational preparation

Skilled work

Skilled work

Skilled work

Unskilled work

Unskilled work

Unskilled work

Unemployment

Unemployment

Unemployment

Internship

Other

Internship

Au pair

Voluntary service

Language course

Military service or alternative civilian service

12The comparative analysis is based on a set of categories that constitute a common status variable. Thus educational and occupational positions occurring in the respective countries were examined for comparability and country-specific particularities.

  • 1  International Socio-Economic Index of Occupational Status.

13VET episodes were dichotomized on the basis of their ISEI scores1. Since the ISEI medians do not differ considerably between both countries (Switzerland: med=34; Germany: med=36), a common cut-off was used to define VET with low requirements (ISEI<36) and VET with high requirements (ISEI≥36). Table 2 shows the resulting categories for the common status variable.

3. Method

14The description of the educational and vocational pathways is based on a sequence of positions over a time period of 63 months. Optimal-matching procedures (Erzberger & Prein, 1997) and cluster analysis were used to group individual sequences into clusters of similar educational pathways. Subsequently, the resulting clusters constitute the dependent variable of the regression models. The models include five predictors for cluster membership: gender, migration background, school achievement, social status, and labor market situation. The models were calculated separately for each country. Predictors were operationalized as follows:

15“migration background” was defined by place of birth. Migration background is given when either the subjects themselves or at least one of their parents were not born in Germany or Switzerland respectively. “School achievement” was measured by the grades the young people received in the subjects German language and mathematics in their last year of compulsory school. They were considered to have received good grades when both grades were better than the minimum grades required to pass in the respective country.

16“Social status” was defined by the highest ISEI score of mother and father (HISEI). “Labor market situation” was assessed by including unemployment rates at the municipal level three years after compulsory school (Switzerland: 2003; Germany: 2007).

4. Results

4.1 Clusters of vocational and educational pathways within the first six years after compulsory school

17For Switzerland, a five-cluster solution was selected. There are clusters of pathways that led to skilled work after completing VET with low requirements (low VET with 2nd threshold) and with high requirements (high VET with 2nd threshold). Analogously, there are pathways of young people who completed VET but failed to find skilled employment (low VET, no 2nd threshold resp. high VET, no 2nd threshold). A fifth cluster contains pathways of unsuccessful transitions. Figure 1 shows a simplified picture of individual career patterns grouped into clusters. In addition to the five main clusters, there are also meaningful subclusters, which are described below.

Figure 1: Simplified illustration of educational and vocational pathways in Switzerland (N=370)

Figure 1: Simplified illustration of educational and vocational pathways in Switzerland (N=370)

18The first cluster of pathways (low VET with 2nd threshold) groups youths who immediately started VET upon completing compulsory schooling and made the transition to skilled work after three (18%) or four (17%) years. More than one third of the Swiss youths fall in this category. Youths in the second cluster (low VET, no 2nd threshold) failed to find skilled employment. Some of them were still in VET (7%), mainly because of taking intermediate steps after compulsory school. The remaining youths of this cluster (11%) finished VET, but instead of entering skilled work immediately, they experienced periods of unskilled work and unemployment.

19The young people grouped into the third cluster completed VET with high requirements and succeeded in entering skilled work after three (9%) and four (11%) years respectively. The fourth cluster contains youths with high-level VET but who failed to make the transition to skilled work. As opposed to the second cluster of yet unsuccessful second threshold transitions upon completing low-level VET, these high-level VET pathways, without exception, start by youths taking intermediate steps in order to access to higher-level training.

20Finally, there is a fifth cluster that accounts for 11% of the former pupils in the Swiss sample. Those young people were rarely able to gain access to VET in the first place. Furthermore, they frequently alternated between unskilled work, intermediate steps (e.g. vocational preparation), and unemployment. In this precarious cluster, we observed two subclusters: 5% of the youths seem to remain in steady employment in unskilled jobs after about the third year, whereas 6% still experience unstable careers characterized by frequently alternating positions.

21Structurally, pathways in Germany are similar to those in Switzerland, although they differ in their respective proportions. Furthermore, there is an additional cluster of pathways in Germany that includes young people who continued attending school in order to achieve higher certificates of general education. Figure 2 shows the six-cluster solution for Germany. Again, meaningful subclusters are described below.

Figure 2: Simplified illustration of educational and vocational pathways in Germany (N=615)

Figure 2: Simplified illustration of educational and vocational pathways in Germany (N=615)

22One fifth of the young people entered skilled work after completing low-level VET (low VET with 2nd threshold). Depending on the time they spent in intermediate steps, there are three subclusters of young people who found skilled work for the first time after three (9%), four (5%), and five (6%) years respectively. The second cluster (low VET, no 2nd threshold) contains pathways that led to low-level VET via initial intermediate steps (9%), thus including youths still in VET and pathways without a successful transition after completing VET (6%).

23Only 12% of the German youths found skilled work after completion of high-level VET. Due to both intermediate steps and different durations of VET, there are three subclusters with entry points after three (4%), four (5%), and five (3%) years. Youths who were not able to enter skilled work after starting high-level VET (high VET, no 2nd threshold) ended up in different positions: There is one subcluster of young persons who first enrolled in intermediate steps and thus were still in VET (11%). Others returned to general education in order to acquire a university entrance qualification (2%). The third subcluster groups pathways of unsuccessful transitions upon completion of high-level VET. These young people were mainly unemployed in the sixth year of their transitional career.

24The school continuation cluster is an exclusively German phenomenon. Young people in this cluster aim to acquire higher certificates of general education. For 4% of the youths, this pathway has already led to tertiary education at a university. Another 7% were still on their way to achieving a university entrance certificate.

25Finally, there are a relatively large number of young people (24%) who experienced precarious educational careers within the six years under study (no successful transition). We observed three subclusters: youths who entered into sustained periods of unskilled work (10%), youths who started VET after a long period of problematic positions (9%), and youths in unstable and frequently altering precarious positions (6%).

4.2 Determinants of vocational and educational pathways

26In the following, the results of descriptive analysis and logistic regression analysis are presented separately for both countries The respective cluster solutions provide the dependent variables of the logistic regressions. In the regression models, the same reference category (low VET with 2nd threshold) is used for both countries.

Table 3: Predictors by cluster membership, frequencies, and means (Switzerland)

Low VET
with 2nd
threshold

Low VET,
no 2nd
threshold

High VET
with 2nd
threshold

High VET,
no 2nd
threshold

No successful transition

Female (n=370)

34.1%

42.4%

62.7%

67.8%

70.7%

Migration background (n=370)

29.5%

27.3%

41.3%

42.4%

58.5%

Good grades (n=338)

68.6%

56.5%

70.6%

66.7%

50.0%

Parents highest occupational status (HISEI) (n=357)

38.40

42.56

40.04

44.18

42.97

Rate of reg. unemployment (n=367)

2.65

2.88

2.73

2.85

3.19

Table 4: Multinomial logistic regression model Switzerland (reference category: low VET with 2nd threshold)

Low VET, no 2nd threshold

Exp (B)

High VET with 2nd
threshold

Exp (B)

High VET, no 2nd threshold

Exp (B)

No successful transition

Exp (B)

Female

1.384

3.932***

5.222***

5.101***

Migration background

1.064

2.323**

2.661**

3.44***

Good grades

.605

1.043

.791

.395**

HISEI

1.026**

1.017

1.037***

1.037**

Rate of reg. unemployment

1.077

.986

.893

1.117

Intercept (b0)

-1.691

-2.196

-3.072

-3.794

n=

50

65

60

35

n (ref.cat.: low VET with 2nd threshold)= 115

Total N= 325

Nagelkerke’s Pseudo-R²=.21

* p≤ .10; ** p≤ .05; *** p≤ .01

27On the one hand, young women in Switzerland (tab. 3 and tab. 4) carry a high risk of precarious pathways and unsuccessful transitions. On the other hand, they more often aim to acquire high-level VET. In general, however, young women have difficulties entering the labor market irrespective of the level of VET achieved. Migration background has rather similar effects on unsuccessful transitions, the tendency to strive for higher-level training, and less successful transitions to skilled work.

28School achievement is still a relevant factor. Young people who earned good grades at school are less likely to end up in the unsuccessful transition cluster. Moreover, good grades seem to facilitate the entry into skilled work in low-level VET careers.

29Social background produces counterintuitive effects: the likelihood of unsuccessful transitions and careers without second threshold increases with the parents’ highest ISEI. Regional unemployment rates have no significant impact although the coefficients indicate that the risk of precarious and unsuccessful pathways grows in proportion to the unemployment rate.

30Contrary to the situation in Switzerland, young women in Germany experience successful transitions more often (tab. 5 and tab. 6). They are more likely to enter the pathways of high VET with 2nd threshold or to continue school. Regarding the second threshold, an interaction effect occurs. While there is no difference between men and women with low-level VET in terms of their chances of making a successful transition to skilled work, young women who accomplished VET with high requirements have better chances of overcoming the second threshold.

31Young persons with migration background prefer to continue school in order to achieve higher certificates and university entrance diplomas. Although not significant, it seems that migrants have more trouble overcoming the second threshold after completion of VET with low requirements than after VET with high requirements. For young people with migration background, the risk of ending up unemployed also seems to be higher.

32Good grades in school increase the likelihood of continuing general education. Social status, too, has a specific effect on the likelihood of continuing school. The higher the parents’ highest ISEI, the more likely young people remain in school and aim for higher education. In Germany, as in Switzerland, there is a negative relation between social status and the chances of overcoming the second threshold with respect to young people who completed low level VET.

33Finally, a higher regional unemployment rate increases the risk of unsuccessful transitions and reduces the chances for successfully entering the labor market after completing VET with low requirements.

Table 5: Predictors by cluster membership, frequencies, and means (Germany)

Low VET with 2nd threshold

Low VET, no 2nd threshold

High VET with 2nd threshold

High VET, no 2nd threshold

Continuation of school

No successful transition

Female (n=615)

38.3%

35.4%

52.6%

38.0%

55.4%

44.7%

Migration background (n=615)

50.8%

43.8%

53.9%

59.3%

61.5%

60.7%

Good grades

38.7%

33.3%

39.2%

48.6%

61.5%

35.1%

Parents highest occupational status (HISEI) (n=536)

37.61

41.44

40.48

38.65

44.50

39.31

Rate of reg. unemployment (n=615)

8.86

10.13

8.34

8.83

9.20

9.53

Table 6: Multinomial logistic regression model for Germany (reference category: low VET with 2nd threshold)

Low VET, no 2nd

threshold

Exp (B)

High VET with 2nd threshold

Exp (B)

High VET, no 2nd threshold

Exp (B)

Continuation of school

Exp (B)

No successful transition

Exp (B)

Female

.918

1.859*

.980

2.249**

1.511

Migration background

.848

1.016

1.495

1.806*

1.491

Good grades

.829

1.039

1.542

2.545***

.925

HISEI

1.023*

1.017

1.009

1.041***

1.014

Rate of reg. unemployment

1.087**

.983

.994

1.067

1.071*

Intercept (b0)

-1.621

-1.238

-.748

-3.959

-1.303

n=

89

64

95

58

125

n (ref.cat.: low VET with 2nd threshold)= 101

Total N= 532

Nagelkerke’s Pseudo-R²=.11

* p≤ .10; ** p≤ .05; *** p≤ .01

344.3 Quality of labor market outcomes

35The following analysis includes subjects who managed to overcome the second threshold. They are youths with completed VET (clusters “low VET with 2nd threshold” and “high VET with 2nd threshold”) and without completed VET but sustained periods of unskilled work (subcluster of unsuccessful transitions). The quality of labor market outcome is operationalized by the ISEI of the last employment within the period of observation. Thus, ISEI is the dependent variable of linear regression models calculated separately for each country. In addition to the known predictors, level and existence of VET certificates are included as dummy variables (coded as “no VET completed,” “low VET completed,” and “high VET completed”). Models for Germany also include whether the subject has acquired an additional “intermediate school-leaving certificate” prior to employment.

Table 7: Linear regressions on level of employment (ISEI) for Switzerland and Germany

Switzerland

Germany

Unstand. B

Stand. Beta

Unstand. B

Stand. Beta

Female

3.946**

0.175**

2.545

0.115

Migration background

2.096

0.090

-0.470

-0.022

Good grades

-1.767

-0.074

-0.985

-0.044

Intermediate school-leaving certificate

---

---

3.390*

0.127*

High VET completed
(ref.-cat. no VET completed)

14.605***

0.603***

4.233**

0.184**

Low VET completed
(ref.-cat. no VET completed)

6.451**

0.280**

-3.123

-0.144

HISEI

0.151**

0.167**

0.014

0.015

Rate of reg. unemployment

0.031

0.004

-0.092

-0.028

Intercept (b0)

20.576

34.524

n=

174

196

R²=

.251

.142

* p≤ .10; ** p≤ .05; *** p≤ .01

36In Switzerland, four significant factors show a positive effect on the level of employment: Employed young women achieve higher ISEI scores than their male counterparts. Completion of a VET and level of VET correspond considerably with ISEI scores. There is also a positive relation between the parents’ social status and the quality of labor market outcomes. In Germany, additional intermediate school-leaving certificates have a considerable effect on labor market outcome. Thus, educational investment seems to pay off. As opposed to Switzerland, only completed VET with high requirements has a positive impact on ISEI scores in Germany. Hence, there is no difference in ISEI scores between low-VET careers and careers without qualified vocational education. Partially this result can be explained by ISEI coding itself, where skilled occupations, such as simple crafts, score less than precarious jobs like call-center occupations. Long-term outcome and stability of occupational careers have yet to be examined.

5. Summary

37This paper analyzed the vocational and educational pathways of young adults deriving from school types with basic requirements in Switzerland and Germany. Clusters of typical pathways were identified and factors influential on the chances of successful labor market integration examined.

38The results show the relevance of vocational and educational training (VET) as a precondition for labor market entry in both countries. However, the countries differ in many aspects once we take a more detailed look. In Switzerland, more than one half of the young people took up VET with low requirements, whereas in Germany only one third of the youths did so. The proportion of young people who entered VET with higher requirements is comparable in both cases: about one third of the youths in each country chose this path. Overcoming the second threshold and thus entering qualified occupations seems easier and takes place earlier in Switzerland. By the sixth year after leaving compulsory school, 55% of the Swiss youths had managed to find skilled employment; in Germany only 32% had been able to accomplish this.

39Delayed entries into the labor market in Germany can be explained by the intermediate steps the majority of German youths take before starting VET; in Switzerland, only a small part of youths, mainly those with high-level VET trajectories, take intermediate steps. The relevance of higher levels of general education in Germany not only delays labor market entry in the traditional, institutionally intended school-VET-skilled work trajectories but also generates pathways of continued general education.

40Finally, the proportion of youths who took precarious pathways resulting in unsuccessful transitions differs considerably between the two countries. Whereas in Switzerland only 11% of the young people have problematic transition careers, in Germany the proportion reaches almost a quarter of all the youths (24%).

41The examination of determinants showed differentiated effect patterns. In Switzerland, young women tend to reach for high-level VET but are at risk of failing to overcome the second threshold later on. Moreover, the likelihood of ending up in precarious positions is greater for Swiss women. Compared to them, women in Germany have better prospects. The labor market outcome for the high portion of young women who continue school has yet to be evaluated. Young people with migration background also carry an elevated risk of unsuccessful transitions in Switzerland. Besides, they tend to aim for high-level VET, whereas in Germany their vocational and educational aspirations rather lead them to continue school. School achievement itself is also an important factor. In Switzerland, good grades protect against unsuccessful transition careers. In Germany, pupils who left compulsory school with good grades tend to continue general education. The likelihood of investing in higher general education also grows with the family’s social status in Germany. In Switzerland, however, it seems that the social status has a contrary effect, as higher social status comes with less successful transitions to skilled work at the second threshold and higher risks of precarious pathways.

42Finally, we examined the occupational status of the young people in stable employment. Results for Switzerland indicate a strong relationship between the level of VET and the level of the subsequent occupation. Young women who successfully overcome the second threshold later outscore young men. The effect of social status, too, turns positive. In Germany, the level of VET and the subsequent occupational status are also positively correlated. Interestingly, however, there is no difference in the occupational status (in measures of ISEI scores) of young adults who completed VET with low requirements and those who failed to complete VET. However, the job market for unskilled labor cannot be expected to provide promising prospects for this group in the long term.

43Whereas in Switzerland the level of VET strongly determines the quality of labor market outcomes, there are two relevant factors that do so in Germany. Besides the level of VET, an additional intermediate school-leaving certificate has a significant positive impact on the subsequent occupational status. This certificate has to be acquired after leaving compulsory school with basic requirements. The intermediate steps observed in Germany’s educational and vocational pathways reflect the necessity to have both VET and additional certificates of general education in order to succeed in the labor market.

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Notes

1  International Socio-Economic Index of Occupational Status.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1: Simplified illustration of educational and vocational pathways in Switzerland (N=370)
URL http://cres.revues.org/docannexe/image/2532/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 200k
Titre Figure 2: Simplified illustration of educational and vocational pathways in Germany (N=615)
URL http://cres.revues.org/docannexe/image/2532/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 672k
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Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Boris Geier, Sandra Hupka-Brunner et Nora Gaupp, « Les trajectoires d’insertion des jeunes peu qualifiés en Suisse et en Allemagne », Cahiers de la recherche sur l’éducation et les savoirs, Hors-série n°4 | 2013, 149-166.

Référence électronique

Boris Geier, Sandra Hupka-Brunner et Nora Gaupp, « Les trajectoires d’insertion des jeunes peu qualifiés en Suisse et en Allemagne », Cahiers de la recherche sur l’éducation et les savoirs [En ligne], Hors-série n°4 | 2013, mis en ligne le 31 octobre 2013, consulté le 26 mars 2017. URL : http://cres.revues.org/2532

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Auteurs

Boris Geier

German Youth Institute (Munich).

Sandra Hupka-Brunner

Université de Bâle.

Nora Gaupp

German Youth Institute (Munich).

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Droits d’auteur

Licence Creative Commons
Cahiers de la recherche sur l’éducation et les savoirs est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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