Vocational education and training trainers, key persons in the professional socialisation process

Although host companies play a decisive role in dual-track VET programmes at upper-secondary level, not much research has been done on them and in particular little is known about those who play a key role in the learning process: VET trainers.

Adobe Stock / Monkey Business

This project is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) (No. 100017_153323).

Our study pursues various objectives. First of all, we seek to understand who VET trainers are, what factors influenced them to work in this capacity and what pathways they took. The study will also focus on their day-to-day activities at the host company and identify the various roles they play in apprenticeship training. Emphasis will also be placed on how they go about training learners (imparting knowledge and know-how).

Finally, we shall focus on the role that VET trainers play in the professional socialisation of learners during the school-to-work transition. This socialisation process takes place at various levels: when learners enter the working environment for the first time, when they learn standards and codes applying to the occupation, and more generally when they become more accustomed to working life and employment.


The research is qualitative in nature, based primarily on analysis of semi-structured interviews with VET trainers as well as on observations within the host company. Two types of analysis will be carried out: 1) descriptive analysis (state of affairs) based on interviews and observations as well as on examination of legislative texts concerning VET trainers; 2) analysis of thematic content based on transcripts of interviews.

Implications for practices
This study will enable identification of needs (for basic and continuing training as well as for support measures) as expressed by those called upon to provide apprenticeship training at host companies.

Transfer into practice