Changing Occupations or Changing Companies : Predictors of Different Types of Premature Contract Terminations in Dual Vocational Education and Training Programs

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2024
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Ramseier, Lukas
Neuenschwander, Markus P.
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Vocations and Learning. Springer. 2024, 17(1), pp. 67-99. ISSN 1874-785X. eISSN 1874-7868. Available under: doi: 10.1007/s12186-023-09338-7
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In Switzerland, access to non-academic occupations requires the completion of a vocational education and training (VET) program. Over two-thirds of adolescents choose to start a dual VET program after compulsory education. However, this path from school to work is not always linear, and changes can be a means of adjusting wrong career choices. In the context of dual VET, two types of adjustments that occur frequently can be distinguished: (1) change of occupations and (2) change of companies. The present study aims to examine the predictors of each of those two types of changes. First, we are interested in the link between individuals’ intentions to change their career paths and actual changes. When changes are intended by the trainee and aimed at correcting wrong career choices, actual changes can generally be expected to be predicted by change intentions. Second, we are interested in the role of person-job fit (P-J fit) as well as trainees’ socialization and performance indicators. Third, we examine to what extent trainees’ decisions to change occupations or companies can be predicted by pre-entry factors (perceived P-J fit and effort during compulsory education before the transition to VET). We used a longitudinal sample of adolescents at the end of compulsory school and at the end of their first year in a dual VET program in Switzerland. This data set is combined with government data on actual changes regarding individuals’ training companies and their occupations. The two types of adjustments were examined in separate structural equation models that compared trainees without any types of adjustments during their training program (1) to those who changed occupations (N = 417) and (2) to those who changed training companies (N = 378). The results show that actual occupational changes and actual company changes of trainees are affected by the same work-context predictors (negative effect of trainees’ self-perceived work performance) and pre-entry predictors (negative effect of effort during compulsory education). However, in contrast to changes of training companies, changes of occupations are significantly predicted by trainees’ intentions to change. Moreover, while P-J fit during the VET program is the only direct predictor of trainees’ intentions to change occupations, intentions to change companies are not significantly predicted by P-J fit. Intentions to change companies are negatively affected by companies’ socialization tactics and positively affected by adolescents’ pre-entry effort. Overall, the results call for a more differentiated assessment of changes/ premature contract terminations in future studies. Whether change intentions are a valid proxy for actual change behavior seems to depend on the type of changes that trainees decide to make.

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ISO 690FINDEISEN, Stefanie, Lukas RAMSEIER, Markus P. NEUENSCHWANDER, 2024. Changing Occupations or Changing Companies : Predictors of Different Types of Premature Contract Terminations in Dual Vocational Education and Training Programs. In: Vocations and Learning. Springer. 2024, 17(1), pp. 67-99. ISSN 1874-785X. eISSN 1874-7868. Available under: doi: 10.1007/s12186-023-09338-7
BibTex
@article{Findeisen2024-04Chang-68042,
  year={2024},
  doi={10.1007/s12186-023-09338-7},
  title={Changing Occupations or Changing Companies : Predictors of Different Types of Premature Contract Terminations in Dual Vocational Education and Training Programs},
  number={1},
  volume={17},
  issn={1874-785X},
  journal={Vocations and Learning},
  pages={67--99},
  author={Findeisen, Stefanie and Ramseier, Lukas and Neuenschwander, Markus P.}
}
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