GOVPET: Governance in Vocational and Professional Education and Training

Dual models of vocational education and training (VET), such as those established in Switzerland and in other European countries (e.g., Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Denmark), are the focus of a high international interest because the countries where dual VET systems are well established are also characterised by a comparatively low unemployment rate and relatively stable economic conditions. It therefore becomes obvious that this is the reason why other countries are expressing their interest and considering if and how such successful dual VET models adaptable to their conditions. A special feature of dual VET in Switzerland is the cooperation between companies, schools, cantonal and fe

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In order to ensure a successful cooperation between the stakeholders, effective strategies are required. What strategies these are and how they exactly work is still largely unexplored. The Leading House Governance in Vocational and Professional Education and Training (GOVPET) raised two related key research questions: (1) How is the decentralised cooperation between the stakeholders implemented, despite difficulties, and which role do governance and education policy play to ensure the commitment of private stakeholders? (2). How can private stakeholders be persuaded to assume responsibility, even when the benefits (e.g., training of well-qualified workers for the company) are not immediately visible, e.g. when hiring less talented young people as apprentices.

Both research questions were tackled in eight projects of the Leading Houses GOVPET which is situated in four locations: At the University of St. Gallen under the direction of Prof. Dr. Patrick Emmenegger, at the University of Cologne under the direction of Prof. Dr. Christine Trampusch, at the University of Lausanne, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Giuliano Bonoli, and at the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training EHB IFFP IUFFP in Zollikofen under the direction of Prof. Dr. Carmen Baumeler.

The research team in Zollikofen analysed in the project "Sectoral differences in decentralised cooperation" how professional organisations would assume their responsibilities in the implementation of training concepts and contents in their professional field. Special consideration was given to the heterogeneity of the professional organisations (e.g. with respect to their size, training traditions, etc.). The study focused on the history of the selected institutions, their structure, membership and financial resources with regard to the differences in the success of the cooperation between the various economic sectors.


Empirical-qualitative, collection of own data, semi-structured interviews