The effects of regional and neighbourhood contexts on young people's aspirations and access to vocational education and training in Germany

Prof. Dr. Wolfang Ludwig-Mayerhofer, University of Siegen

Research staff:
Alexandra Wicht, University of Siegen

Student assistant:
Madlen Grünwald, University of Siegen

Project summary:
The research project aims at examining the effects of spatial contexts on the transition of young people from school into the vocational education and training system in Germany. Problems in the transition process, which can have serious consequences on a person’s entire occupational career, have been on the rise in recent decades. This process, however, is defined not only by time but also by space. We start from the assumption that opportunity structures for young people are not simply objective, but also subjective, and we understand access to the vocational education and training market to be the result of selection processes on the part of training institutions (firms, schools) as they interact with socio-culturally mediated self-selection processes. Spatial structures can affect these mechanisms on different levels. Regional labour market characteristics as well as neighbourhood socio-cultural milieux can be assumed to influence vocational educational aspirations, occupational interests and access to and positioning in the vocational education and training system. Matching life course data on the starting cohort 4 of the National Educational Panel (NEPS), ‘School and Vocational Training – Educational Pathways of Students in 9th Grade and Higher’, with space-related aggregate data will allow us to conduct a detailed analysis of this transition process, combining the micro and the macro level in a multi-level design.