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Full text: Absolventinnen und Absolventen von Lehre und BMS: Zwei Ausbildungswege im Vergleich

Abstract II Abstract (in English) The present study provides a comprehensive overview of two important vocational education and training (VET) pathways in Austria, which represent an equivalent degree in the international education classification ISCED (level 3): apprenticeship system and medium-level secondary VET-schools (BMS). The two pathways represent important pillars within the Austrian system of initial education. Both apprenticeship and BMS primarily address young people, who prefer a practice-oriented education, but they have divergent focal points regarding the way both skills and knowledge are taught (company-based on the one hand, school-based on the other hand). The present analysis evaluates the consequences of the different educational goals and the knowledge transfer of those two educational tracks, comparing the skill proficiency level in literacy and numeracy, the further training behavior and the labor market situation of its graduates. To gain a wide insight into these different fields of inter- est, several data sources (PIAAC, PISA, BibEr) are used for the analysis, some of which are also linked for the first time. The analysis of the PIAAC and BibEr data provides an ambivalent picture: both key skill proficiency level and fur- ther education participation rates of the PIAAC persons with an apprenticeship exam (graduation years 1947 to 2008) are rather low. This is also reflected in a comparatively high risk of unemployment or in a lower share of people with “good employment integration”. For persons with a BMS degree, the situation of the four points listed above is significantly more positive. However, when analyzing the employment chances of young apprenticeship graduates on the basis of the BibEr data (graduation years 2008 to 2010), the results refer to a good start into the working life - although about one third of the apprentices in the various PISA surveys continuously belong to the risk group of low performance. This “trade-off” result is, in a certain way, in line with a series of national and international analyses of the edu- cational system that deal with the effects of different educational pathways regarding the labor market chances. When conducting a Dutch comparative study between full-time vocational schools and apprenticeship system, Van der Velden & Lodder (1995) concluded that advantages of apprenticeship graduates at the beginning of the career turn into disadvantageous labor market chances in terms of promotion opportunities and the risk of unem- ploymet. Running an international country analysis based on PIAAC data Van der Velden, Buisman & Levels (2017) concluded that there are “trade-off regimes” in countries where the vocational system is primarily appren- ticeship-based (the so-called dual systems), meaning that higher skill proficiency levels at the career entry gener- ate only a low financial return for VET-graduates (as mainly vocational skills are rewarded). Over the life course, however, the financial return of higher skill proficiency levels increases substantially. The above mentioned authors and other researchers (vgl. hierzu Hampf & Woessmann, 2016; Hanushek, Schw- erdt, Woessmann & Zhang, 2016) explain this “trade-off” effect by the growing importance of basic key skills for the purpose of sustaining employability throughout later work lives while facing accelerated obsolescence of occupation-specific skills. The second result to be highlighted is the changing composition of the pupils in BMS relating to migration and family background that manifests in an increasingly larger risk group with regard to literacy skill proficiency in the different PISA studies. Since a comparatively large number of BMS graduates (must) enroll for another educa- tional program after graduation, the hypothesis can be formulated that the positive signal effect of this educational certificate on the labor market - which has previously been quite positive - has declined. Keywords: apprenticeship, vocational education and training, key skills, unemployment, labor market integration, further training
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