02 SES 16 B, Who Is Included? Who Gets Excluded? And Why? An International Comparison of Dropout In VET Programmes for Disadvantaged Youths
The Federal VET Certificate (FVC) was introduced in 2004 in the Swiss Initial Vocational Education and Training (IVET) system. This low-threshold training track aims at facilitating the entrance into post-obligatory education and integration in the labor market for a maximum of youths. More than ten years later, there is a need to question these initial objectives. In this contribution, it will be accomplished through the lens of premature apprenticeship contract terminations (PACT), which is a significant phenomenon according to a recent study (Schmid, Neumann, & Kriesi, 2016). What do the reasons of PACT tell us about this low-threshold VET program, about its capacity to facilitate the integration of youths into a post-obligatory training and also its position within the Swiss IVET system? To answer those questions, this contribution is based on a longitudinal, mixed-methods study. The quantitative part, conducted with questionnaires, focuses on youths of a same cohort undertaking their training in diverse professional sectors. The qualitative part concentrates on approx. 40 in-depth interviews with youths who have terminated their apprenticeship contract prematurely. Interviews are content analyzed based on Bardin’s framework (1986). Whilst the quantitative part informs about the sociographic profiles of the youths undertaking this kind of training; the qualitative part aims at gaining insight into youths’ subjective perspective on their situation. First quantitative results inform about the sociographic profiles of the apprentices under study. They reveal a vulnerable population, with youths originating primarily from the working-class, parents with low levels of education, and generally non-linear academic backgrounds. Then, the qualitative part shows a variety of reasons that lead to a PACT. The professional choice (domain or training track), the transition from school to work (such as confrontation to an adult world and to the constraints of productivity) and the negative image attached to the FVC, as track and even as diploma, seem decisive. In conclusion, our results suggest that there is a risk that this training track caters only for the most vulnerable youths who, on top of their disadvantages in terms of sociographic origin, enter this track by default. As a result, it gains social discredit, with consequences not only on the reputation of the training, but also on the self-image of the concerned youths. It raises the question of what is done to help them not only to integrate a post-obligatory training track, but to stay until graduation.
Bardin, L. (1986). L'analyse de contenu. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Lamamra, N., & Masdonati, J. (2009). Arrêter une formation professionnelle: Mots et maux d'apprenti-e-s. Lausanne: Antipodes. Schmid, E., Neumann, J., & Kriesi, I. (2016). Lehrvertragsauflösung, Wiedereinstieg, Bildungserfolg. Ergebnisse zur zweijährigen Grundbildung mit eidgenössischem Berufsattest (EBA). Neuenburg: Bundesamt für Statistik. Stalder, B. E., & Schmid, E. (2006). Lehrvertragsauflösungen, ihre Ursachen und Konsequenzen: Ergebnisse aus dem Projekt LEVA. Bern: Bildungsplanung und Evaluation der Erziehungsdirektion des Kantons Bern.
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