Stephen Machin, Sandra McNally, Camille Terrier, Guglielmo Ventura, 23 December 2020

England introduced University Technical Colleges – hybrid education institutions which combine general and vocational education – in 2010. This column presents the results from the first evaluation of the causal effect of attending such a college on student academic and vocational achievement, and on eventual labour market outcomes. While college enrolment can have positive effects on the probability of studying a STEM subject at university, the age that a student enrolls plays a key part in determining their overall attainment.

Felipe Barrera-Osorio, Adriana Kugler, Mikko Silliman, 24 October 2020

Policymakers are growing increasingly interested in the effects of vocational training on labour market outcomes. This column uses an experimental design to test whether technical and/or soft skills can sustain the returns from vocational programmes. Using survey and administrative data, it finds large and persistent positive effects of training on employment and wages. In addition, an emphasis on technical skills increases short-term outcomes, while soft skills training improves labour market dynamics in the long run. Finally, resource constraints may be an important obstacle for obtaining such training, particularly for lower-income households.

Patrick Chuard, Veronica Grassi, 12 October 2020

Equal opportunities are not only ethically desirable but also important for economic growth, and one important facet is intergenerational income mobility. Using administrative data, this column documents intergenerational income and educational mobility in Switzerland. It finds that income mobility in Switzerland is high, but education depends strongly on parental income. It goes on to ask whether the country's vocational training and education system might be the primary reason for this ‘high income, low educational mobility’ conundrum. 

Richard Blundell, 16 March 2020

How do some workers who left school at a relatively young age with low qualifications go on to succeed in the labour market?

Adriana Kugler, Maurice Kugler, Juan Saavedra, Luis Herrera, 28 January 2016

Vocational training programmes offer a second chance to those who drop out of the formal education system. Most studies of the success of such programmes, however, typically only analyse outcomes directly after participation. This column examines the medium- and long-term outcomes of a vocational training programme in Colombia. Results suggest that vocational training and formal education are complementary investments and that there are educational spillover effects for family members, in particular among applicants with high baseline educational attainment.

Juan Dolado, 09 February 2015

Youth unemployment has been a problem in Europe for several decades, but some European countries have fared much better than others in recent years. This column summarises the policy lessons to be drawn from a new VoxEU.org eBook that compares the labour market experiences of different European countries and provides an early evaluation of the European Commission’s Youth Guarantee scheme.

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