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Zertifikat "audit berufundfamilie"

Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Divergent Transition Patterns - Labour Market Entry Sequences of School Leavers in Germany

Project Number


Head of Project

Project Staff

  • Jahn, Kerstin

Project Start

March 2014

End of Project

December 2020


The study explores school-to-work transitions in Germany aiming at achieving a richer understanding of the complexity of labour market related trajectories of individuals during five years after ending compulsory school. The analysis takes a closer look at the relevance of so-called transition measures for labour market entry sequences of young adults. The term transition measures refers to a parallel system of transition alternatives, institutionalised additionally to the standardised vocational training system of firm-based or school-based qualification routes.
The significance of alternative routes for the school-to-work trajectories of young adults is a controversial issue. While programmes intend to improve prospects of low-skilled youth on the training and labour market, critics point out risks of resulting in long-term subsidized careers or discontinuous employment trajectories in subsequent years.
As a theoretical starting point it is assumed, that there is a social polarisation of rather smooth transition patterns dominated by vocational training and subsequent employment periods on the one hand and more discontinuous and fragmented transition patterns dominated by repeated training periods within the system of transition alternatives as well as unemployment and marginal employment on the other hand.
By applying explorative methods of optimal matching and cluster analysis on administrative data of the federal employment agency, individual trajectories of youth under the age of 21 have been grouped for the period from 2008 to 2013. The sample is restricted to youth with an at most intermediate school-leaving certificate who made initially use of vocational guidance of the federal employment agency in 2008. We identify a small number of at-risk trajectories that raise concerns about an institutional based polarisation of the transition from school to work.