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Employment Prospects and Skill Acquisition of Apprenticeship-Trained Workers in Germany

Rainer Winkelmann ()

ILR Review, 1996, vol. 49, issue 4, 658-672

Abstract: Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel for 1984–90, the author analyzes the entrance of young individuals into the German labor market, comparing the experience of apprenticeship graduates to that of graduates from universities, full-time vocational schools, and secondary schools. Apprentices experienced fewer unemployment spells in the transition to their first full-time employment than did non-apprentices. Among apprentices, those trained in large firms had the smoothest transition to employment; once employed, however, apprentices (whether they stayed in their training firm or not) and non-apprentices had similar job stability (as measured by tenure). An estimated 70% of apprenticeship trainees left their training firm within a five-year period. These findings are consistent with the view that apprenticeship training develops general, portable skills rather than firm-specific skills.

Date: 1996
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