Labour Market Transitions of Bachelor Graduates in Competition with Workers with VET Certificates

Friday, 20 July 2018: 16:18
Oral Presentation
Tobias MAIER, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Germany
Alexandra MERGENER, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Germany
Both the reform of the European university system with the implementation of bachelor and master degrees (Bologna reform) and the general increased supply of academics are changing the structure of workforce entering the German labour market. Even though Germany is still known for its national vocational education and training (VET) system with common quality standards, university graduates could constitute an option for substituting workers with initial or further VET certificates. This is especially conceivable in occupations in which, due to the knowledge imparted, persons with a variety of formal qualification levels would be suitable.

Hence, this paper intends to analyse labour market chances of bachelor and master graduates in competition with workers with initial or further VET certificates in different occupations with varying requirements. Thereby, we focus on the recruitment behaviour of employers by complementing an establishment panel with a follow-up factorial survey. Stratified by eight occupational groups, personnel decision-makers evaluate for one occupation possible recruiting situations described in vignettes. By experimentally varying the requirements of the occupation specific vacancy, the characteristics of the applicants (such as certificate and experience) and recruiting situation in general (number of applicants), we are able to identify which training curricula’s are preferred for certain tasks by employers.

The research project broadens the discussion about labour market transitions processes by adding a quantitative inter-occupational study on the company preferences regarding formal vocational certificates when performing external recruitment. By this, we are able to present new results in a previously sociologically unexplored field that can directly applicable to the German labour market (because of the specific national database). Furthermore, these results are also transferable to other labour markets with similar structures.