Gender Segregation in the German Vocational Training System

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 7:10 PM
Room: Booth 42
Distributed Paper
Nicole TIEBEN , MZES/Mannheim University, Germany
Steffen SCHINDLER , University of Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany
Transitions from education to work are known to be particularly smooth in Germany. This is mostly attributed to the “dual system”, which combines firm-based training and vocational schooling (Müller/Gangl, 2003). In the dual system trainees spend 2-3 years in a company as apprentices and acquire firm specific skills. Both firm and apprentice thus invest in the training which leads to a mutual commitment and a high probability that the apprentice is taken over by the company after training.

However, the German vocational training system does not only consist of the dual system but also of school-based vocational training. In these schools, the contact to potential employers is limited and the curriculum is not firm-specific. We therefore expect that the transition from education to work is less smooth for trainees from school based vocational training. They should face a longer transition period and/or more job mobility.

As gender specific occupations coincide with the type of vocational training, training types are highly gendered in Germany. Women are more likely to enter school based vocational training. We therefore expect that their pathways into employment are less straightforward. The lower firm-specificity of their skills and the lower commitment of employer and employee also should lead to higher job mobility.

We use the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). This dastaset consists of detailed retrospective lifecourse information about educational and occupational biographies of approximately 11.000 individuals. We examine transition patterns of German women and men after completion of their vocational training and assess how much of the gender differences in the duration of the job placement process and early career mobility can be attributed to the type of training.