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Toward Competence Development: Empirical Evidence for the Power of Workplace Instruction and a Compensatory Function of Initial Vocational Education and Training

Sat, April 18, 2:45 to 4:15pm, Hyatt, Floor: East Tower - Purple Level, Riverside West


Initial VETs are characterized by a largely heterogeneous student body e.g. with respect to age, graduation, social and migration backgrounds. The study adopts a cross-sectional perspective to examine the determinant factors of competence development during VETs. It is argued that socio-economic background variables loose their effect on learning outcomes over the trace of initial VET and that vocational education therefore lessens the impact of socio-economic variables. This hypothesis is tested via IRT-modeling and structural equation modeling on an empirical basis of N = 877 industrial clerks studying in the German dual system. The results suggest decreasing effects of socio-economic variables on learning outcomes over the vocational training span. Instead, work-place-related factors take a predominant role in predicting vocational competence development.