Institutional characteristics of initial vocational education and training in Switzerland: How do they affect young people’s early labour market outcomes and transitions to higher education?

The Swiss educational system offers some 250 different initial vocational education and training programmes.

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The institutional features of these programmes vary considerably. This pertains, for example, to formal training characteristics (e.g., training duration, apprenticeships versus full-time vocational schools), curricula, examination standardisation or to institutionalised opportunities for subsequent tertiary-level education. Institutional arrangements thus do not only vary between countries, as previous research has highlighted, but also within countries, as the example of the Swiss VET system at the upper-secondary level demonstrates.
The project investigates whether and how the institutional characteristics of the many vocational education and training programmes at the upper-secondary level affect Swiss VET graduates’ labour market entry, early labour market career and transitions to tertiary education. In particular, we will analyse how differences regarding VET programmes’ vocational specificity, vertical and horizontal differentiation, exam standardisation or education and training quality influence the probability for unemployment, skill-inadequate employment or fixed-term contracts at labour market entry and the early career as well as the transition probability to higher education.


Quantitative and multivariate analyses based on several waves of the Swiss Labour Force Survey.