The relationship between training and employment in dual vocational training. Implications for the education-work transition (2022)

The aim of this doctoral thesis is to study the probable school-work transition of those who have studied the dual mode in Vocational Training. The research takes as a reference the whole of Spain but focuses on the reality of Catalonia due to the great disparity between the models implemented in the Autonomous Communities. The theoretical foundation of the thesis is based on approaching the Education-Work relationship from the sociology of work and the sociology of education. Subsequently, an analysis of the context of both the situation of young people in the labor market as a result of the economic crisis that began in 2008, and the origin and early years of development of the dual mode in VET in Spain is developed. The fieldwork of the doctoral thesis consists of 41 interviews with social agents (public administrations, business and trade union organizations, educational centers, companies, apprentices, foundations for the promotion of VET) and a questionnaire implemented to 466 apprentices of dual mode of VET in Catalonia in the second year, constituting a mixed research design.

The results address the different perspectives of the social agents regarding the design of dual VET and the benefits and problems it poses. Secondly, it highlights the key elements that, according to the informants, the modality offers and should be highlighted to ensure its proper functioning. Finally, we analyze the likely school-work transition for those who participate in dual vocational training according to different variables that, according to the descriptive, inferential and classification analyses, appear as significant (professional family, territorial delegation, ownership of the educational center, level of vocational training, previous job, sex, previous training). Following this analysis, the doctoral thesis proposes a typology of probable school-work transitions of those who participate in dual vocational training, which, in summary, can be grouped into: unstructured profiles, semi-structured profiles, early more structured profiles, delayed more structured profiles.

Finally, the doctoral thesis concludes that the current model does not allow us to ensure a direct positive impact on youth labor market insertion independent of individual and structural variables, since these indicate significant differences in the motivations, expectations and level of satisfaction of the people who follow this modality. However, some of its characteristics influence the adjustment of expectations and reduce the transition time. Specifically, the thesis shows that the increase in time and content of in-company training allows expectations to be modified by having greater knowledge of the job position and increasing work experience (confirming or, if not, reorienting professional vocation) and reducing the transition time by facilitating entry into the “internal labor markets” for a significant percentage of those who take dual vocational training.

Author: Daniel Barrientos Sánchez

Supervisor: Antonio Martín & Andreu Lope

Date of thesis defense: 28/02/2022


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