Young Adults with Immigrant Background and Their Transition to the German System of Vocational Training : The Role of Preferences, Resources, and Opportunities

Article, Unknown German OPEN
Diehl, Claudia ; Friedrich, Michael ; Hall, Anja (2009)
  • Publisher: deGruyter/Oldenbourg
  • Subject: Soziale Ungleichheit; Ethnische Diskriminierung; Migranten; Berufsausbildung; Arbeitsmarktintegration; Ausbildungsstellenmarkt; Ausbildungsplatzvergabe
    • ddc: ddc:300
    mesheuropmc: education

In this article, we examine the extent and the causes of ethnic inequalities in access to apprenticeship training positions within the German system of vocational training. Analyses are based on pooled data from three surveys of high school graduates conducted at the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB). The role of the following differences between German and applicants with an immigrant background for vocational training positions is analyzed: their preferences for certain occupational fields, their endowment with resources relevant to the integration of the individual in the labor market, and the opportunities available in the vocational training market. We can show, first, that the chances of finding a vocational training position are substantially lower for young - especially male - adults with an immigrant background even if their occupational preferences, their human capital endowment, and their first language are taken into account. Furthermore, there is no evidence that German and immigrant background youths differ substantially in terms of their job-search strategies. Our analyses show, secondly, that even those immigrant background youths who did manage to find a vocational training position are only half as likely as young Germans to be trained in their preferred occupational field. The large gender differences within the immigrant background group in particular suggest that ethnic discrimination processes on the part of potential employers may play a more important role in explaining ethnic inequalities in the access to vocational training positions than in other dimensions of labor market integration. This is probably related to specificities in those vocational training sectors that are characterized by a comparatively low productivity of applicants and by a shortage of vocational training positions.
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