Short- and long-term impacts of Covid-19 on VET: Strengthening VET in times of crises (COVET)

The research project «Short- and long-term impacts of Covid-19 on VET: Strengthening VET in times of crises» aims to explore the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on dual-track vocational education and training (VET) in Switzerland. It focuses on differences between occupational fields and regions in terms of training processes, supply and demand of apprenticeship places and educational pathways and labour market entry of young adults who completed their training during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Empty classroom
University of Bern

The research project «Short- and long-term impacts of Covid-19 on VET: Strengthening VET in times of crises» looks at the measures which host companies and organisations in the world of work took to ensure apprentices could acquire occupational skills and knowledge and complete their training successfully (work package 1).

It also analyses whether the pandemic led to changes in recruitment strategies and training regulations and practices. In relation to the supply and demand of apprenticeship places, we explore whether the pandemic had an impact on the search preferences and training programmes selected by young people, on one hand, and the supply of apprenticeship places by companies on the other (work package 2).

Last but not least we look at the question of whether the pandemic caused turbulent conditions for some groups of apprentices, e.g. delayed transitions in the certified training at upper secondary level, premature contract terminations, repeated courses, failed final examinations, periods unemployment or income at labour market entry (working package 3).

The research project is being funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) as part of the National Research Program 80 (NFP80) on the topic of «Covid-19 in Society» and is institutionally embedded at the Department of Sociology of Education at the Institute of Educational Science of the University of Bern and at the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training SFUVET.

Dr. David Glauser, University of Bern, Department of Sociology of Education and Prof. Dr. Irene KriesiCo-Head of research area «Strategic planning of VET/PET sector» have overall responsibility for the project.

More detailed information on the project and the company survey can be found on the project page of the University of Bern, Department of Sociology of Education.


The project is based on a mixed method approach and will combine several data sources. This includes document analysis, semi-structured interviews with representatives of professional associations, companies and apprentices, a quantitative online survey of host companies, the analysis of changes on the apprenticeship market based on data from Swiss online apprenticeship platforms and analyses of educational pathways and labour market entry using LABB data which will be combined with additional administrative and survey data.