Podcast: Employment seminar series

Cost and benefits of apprenticeship training from the perspective of firms

The Employment Policy Department held a seminar featuring Prof. Stefan C. Wolter, University of Bern, Department of Economics.

Audio | 25 January 2019


In times of rapid technological progress and increasing digitalisation in many areas of work and life, it is more important than ever to provide young people with a solid theoretical knowledge base as well as impart practical skills for their entry into the world of work and to ensure that they are able to adapt to the changing needs of the labour market. With this in mind, apprenticeships have become politically more attractive in many countries, but their uptake often encounter a major obstacle: a lack of commitment by the companies, especially in countries where an in-company apprenticeship tradition is absent. First and foremost, companies see training as an operational loss. In this seminar, Prof. Stefan C. Wolter, University of Bern, discussed the following issues:

• How the net-costs of apprenticeship training affect the behavior of firms and most importantly their provision of training places?
• What are the importance of the regulatory framework in a country, labor market regulations and social partner agreements on the cost and benefits for firms training apprentices?
• What are the potential benefits of simulation studies for large reform projects at a national level and how findings in one country can be translated to another country?

In addition, the presenter discussed key ideas from a series of research carried out in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, England, Italy and Spain.