New opportunities or reinforced disadvantages? Variation in returns to low-achieving school leavers’ participation in pre-vocational training measures (N.O.R.D.)

Main content

The DFG-project NORD investigates the effects and returns of low-achieving school leavers’ participation in pre-vocational programs (short: pre-voc programs). While the first project (NORD 1) examines whether and how pre-voc programs help students improve their opportunities to enter  an apprenticeship, the extension project (NORD 2) focusses on the effect of pre-voc participation on the risk of dropping out of this apprenticeship positions.

Concerning access to apprenticeship training, our main research question is:

· Does participation in pre-voc programs influence the probability of subsequently entering regular apprenticeship position for low-achieving school leavers and if so, why?

To study this research question properly, we have to unravel the relationship between selection into different pre-voc programs, individual’s development during participation in pre-voc programs, and the variation in participant’s subsequent success of entering apprenticeships.

Concerning the risk of dropping out of apprenticeship training, our main research questions are:

1) Why are low-achieving school leavers more likely to drop out of apprenticeship programs than intermediate-educated school leavers?

2) And concerning the claimed goals of participation in pre-voc programs, does participation in pre-voc programs impacts on low-achieving youth’s risks of dropping out of apprenticeship programs and if so, for whom and why?

We will pay particular attention to different selection processes, the heterogeneity of VET dropouts and the causes of dropping out of VET programs.

For both projects, we will use data of NEPS (National Educational Panel Study) starting cohort 4. Low-achieving school leavers are defined as those who left regular schools and special schools for learning disabilities without a degree or with only a (advanced) lower secondary school degree. We will use ideas of the counterfactual approach to causal analysis. In cooperation with the IAB, the individual NEPS data will be linked with fine-graded, time-varying regional information (at the level of district codes/Gemeindekennziffern) on apprenticeship and entry labor markets in order to appropriately account for selectivity in transitions into pre-voc measures.

The project is not only of interest from a policy perspective but will also improve our understanding of the processes and causes of dropping out of apprenticeship programs, and thus of possibilities to counteract or alleviate the accumulations of educational disadvantages.

Wzbaktiv
2018
Holtmann, Anne Christine/Menze, Laura/Solga, Heike (2018): "Mangelt es wirklich an der 'Ausbildungsreife'? Die Bedeutung von Handlungsressourcen und Gelegenheitsstrukturen für die Ausbildungschancen von leistungsschwachen Jugendlichen". In: Nele McElvany/Wilfried Bos/Heinz Günter Holtappels/Johannes Hasselhorn/Annika Ohle-Peters (Hg.): Bedingungen erfolgreicher Bildungsverläufe in gesellschaftlicher Heterogenität. Dortmunder Symposium der Empirischen Bildungsforschung, Bd. Bd. 3. Münster: Waxmann, S. 9-33.
Holtmann, Anne Christine/Menze, Laura/Solga, Heike (2018): Unentdeckte Kompetenzen. Jugendliche ohne Mittleren Schulabschluss finden schwer einen Ausbildungsplatz. WZBrief Bildung 36/September 2018. Berlin: WZB.
2017
Holtmann, Anne Christine/Menze, Laura/Solga, Heike (2017): "Persistent Disadvantages or New Opportunities? The Role of Agency and Structural Constraints for Low-Achieving Adolescents’ School-to-Work Transitions". In: Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 46, No. 10, S. 2091-2113.
2015
Solga, Heike (2015): 'A Fault Confessed is Half Redressed'. Review Essay on Low-achieving School Leavers' Access to Apprenticeships and Their Returns to Participation in Prevocational Training Measures. WZB Discussion Paper SP I 2015-501. Berlin: WZB.

Research fields

Education and Training
Project Management
Duration
01/2015 – 03/2020
Funding
funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Cooperation partners
Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg, Germany

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Site structure
Description

Research Unit Skill Formation and Labor Markets

Site structure
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Abteilung Ausbildung und Arbeitsmarkt

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