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Vocational Education Pathways: Young Workers Five Years after the Federal VET Certificate

Background and aims

In order to investigate not only the short-term, but also the longterm employment market perspectives and levels of permeability within the vocational training system of this training vessel, which was introduced during the education reforms for the population of more practical-orientated, low performing and disadvantaged youths, it is necessary to add a further measuring point five years after training ended.


The follow-up survey five years after completion of the VET certificate is designed to cast light on the following questions:

  • What are the vocational pathways of young people at the lower end of the achievement spectrum up to five years after completing their vocational education?
  • Where have workers with a federal VET certificate got to five years later?
  • What factors influence the stability or precarity of their vocational and further training pathways?

The research project permits an outcome-oriented review of the two-year basic training and also lays foundations for improvements or changes.


The first countrywide cohort of workers with a Federal VET certificate in the retail and hospitality trades will participate in a survey about their medium-term integration into the labour market.

  1. Survey method: partially structured telephone interviews with the entire cohort (on training and employment pathways, current employment, quality of work situation, perceived satisfaction, pay,...) (N=169)
  2. Survey method: qualitative interviews with a subset (stable versus unstable employment pathways): retrospective assessment of initial training, differentiated feedback on individual pathways, perceived prospects (N=10-20).


The study shows that the VET Certificate (Berufsattest) forms the basis of employment for about two thirds of young people in work. 61% are still working in the occupation for which they trained five years after obtaining their first vocational qualification. One in three of these have stayed with the company that trained them. 12% are neither in education nor in training, i.e. they are either jobless (7%) or looking after a family. This unemployment rate is similar to the pattern 2.5 years after completion of training. For more than a third of those interviewed, the two-year basic training served as a springboard for further vocational training. Meanwhile they have obtained a Federal VET Diploma (Fähigkeitszeugnis) in their occupation or another advanced vocational training qualification. Four individuals are now training as managers. The wages of those who went on to acquire the VET Diploma are significantly higher that the wages of those with the VET Certificate. The interviewees rank their vocational career as predominantly positive. Over 70% are satisfied both with their occupational circumstances and their vocational pathway.



Project Management

Project team


Forschung und Entwicklung
Tel: +41 44 317 11 81

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