The German National Educational Panel Study: a wealth of potential for research in school-to-work transitions

Kathrin Leuze, Wolfgang Ludwig-Mayerhofer, Heike Solga


Advanced societies in general, and Germany in particular, are faced with many unanswered questions regarding their vocational education and training (VET) systems in terms of access, outcomes, and individual skill formation. Is VET still capable of providing the skills necessary for a successful transition into the labour market? How can low-achieving youth enter and finish vocational training? How do cognitive and non-cognitive competencies develop in the course of VET? At the moment, however, we do not have sufficient longitudinal data to give profound answers to these and other questions. The German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), launched in 2008 and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, will provide unique longitudinal data on life histories in combination with measures on competence development over the life course. Within NEPS, the so-called Stage 6, ‘Vocational Education and Training and Transitions into the Labour Market’, is devoted to collecting and providing longitudinal data on the transitions of young people from secondary schools into the labour market. In this paper, we shall describe the main features of the survey design of Stage 6 and discuss the research potential offered by this new type of data.


Education, School-to-work transition, Germany

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