Does vocational education give a labour market advantage over the whole career? A comparison of the United Kingdom and Switzerland

TitreDoes vocational education give a labour market advantage over the whole career? A comparison of the United Kingdom and Switzerland
Type de publicationJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuteursKORBER, MAILYS
JournalLIVES Working Paper
Volume74
Pagination1-40
Date Published11/2018
PublisherNCCR LIVES
ISSN2296-1658
Mots-clésapprenticeship, earnings, employment, life course, Switzerland, United Kingdom, vocational education and training
Résumé

Research suggests that vocational education and training (VET) tends to reduce youth unemployment by providing specific skills, thus smoothing the transition from education to work. However, we still know relatively little about whether vocational education provides higher employment rate and wages over the entire working trajectory than holders of lower education: after several years of experience, both groups may indeed have similar skills and thus similar situations on the labour market. We compare the situation in the United Kingdom and Switzerland, two countries sharing a tradition of vocational education but which differ in the specificity and standardisation of their VET system.
Creating a pseudo-cohort with repeated rounds of the UK and Swiss labour force surveys, we use regression models and compare the employment rate and hourly wage of our two groups of interest: individuals with vocational education at the upper secondary level and individuals with no more than compulsory education. We find that VET graduates fare better in terms of both employment and wages over the whole career. This advantage is larger for women than men and, contrary to our hypothesis, larger in the UK than in Switzerland with respect to employment prospects.

DOI10.12682/lives.2296-1658.2018.74