Transition of Young Refugees to Vocational Education and Training in Germany: A Comparison between Refugees and Other Migrants

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:40
Oral Presentation
Verena EBERHARD, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Germany
In 2015 and 2016 more than 1 Million asylum seekers entered Germany. Many of them are young but lack the professional and vocational qualifications necessary to be integrated into the German labour market. In Germany, more than 50 % of all young people receive such qualifications in the dual system of Vocational Education and Training (VET). Thus, for integrating refugees into the German labour market and society, the VET-system is highly relevant. However, young people’s chances of starting a VET apprenticeship are influenced by the companies’ voluntary provision of training places and their recruitment decisions. In this context, research has shown that migrants have lesser chances of getting an apprenticeship even if cultural and social capital are controlled for.

Against this background, the paper aims to answer two questions: 1) Do refugees seeking for an apprenticeship face the same disadvantages as other migrants (first and second generation)? 2) Which factors (cultural and social capital as well as sociodemographic factors like gender, age and length of stay in Germany) influence the transition to VET within the group of refugees and are there differences in these effects compared to the group of other migrants? Due to regional differences in training place supply and demand in Germany, the local institutional framework of the VET system is also taken into consideration.

Data from a representative survey of approximately 5,500 young people who were registered with the Federal Employment Agency as applicants for vocational training in Germany in 2016 is used. 1,436 training applicants are refugees and hold a citizenship of the major asylum countries of origin (Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria). Applying logistic regression models, preliminary results indicate that different factors influence refugees’ transition to VET compared to the group of other migrants.