So Similar and Yet so Different: A Comparative Analysis of a Firm's Cost and Benefits of Apprenticeship Training in Austria and Switzerland

Moretti, Luca; Mayerl, Martin; Muehlemann, Samuel; Schlögl, Peter; Wolter, Stefan C. (2019). So Similar and Yet so Different: A Comparative Analysis of a Firm's Cost and Benefits of Apprenticeship Training in Austria and Switzerland. Evidence-based HRM: a Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship, 7(2), pp. 229-246. Emerald 10.1108/EBHRM-08-2018-0047

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to compare a firm’s net cost and post-apprenticeship benefits of providing apprenticeship training in Austria and Switzerland: two countries with many similarities but some critical institutional differences. Design/methodology/approach: The authors draw on detailed workplace data with information on the costs and benefits of apprenticeship training, as well as on hiring costs for skilled workers from the external labour market. The authors use nearest-neighbour matching models to compare Austrian firms with similar Swiss firms based on observable characteristics. Findings: On average, a Swiss firm generates an annual net benefit of €3,400 from training an apprentice, whereas a firm in Austria incurs net costs of €4,200. The impetus for this difference is largely a higher relative apprentice pay in Austria. However, compared with Swiss firms, Austrian firms generate a higher post-training return by retaining a higher share of apprentices and savings on future hiring costs. Practical implications: The authors demonstrate that apprenticeship systems can exist under different institutional environments. For countries currently in the process of establishing or expanding apprenticeship systems, the comparative analysis clearly shows that policymakers should consider more than just one country’s particular apprenticeship model. Originality/value: The authors provide a first comparative analysis between two apprenticeship countries that empirically assesses a firm’s costs and benefits of training during an apprenticeship programme and also provides a monetary value of a particular type of post-training benefits that firms can generate by retaining former apprentices as skilled workers (i.e. savings in future hiring costs for skilled workers).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics > Institute of Economics > Economic Policy and Regional Economics

UniBE Contributor:

Wolter, Stefan

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

ISSN:

2049-3983

Publisher:

Emerald

Language:

English

Submitter:

Dino Collalti

Date Deposited:

15 Jan 2020 15:43

Last Modified:

15 Jan 2020 15:43

Publisher DOI:

10.1108/EBHRM-08-2018-0047

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.137477

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/137477

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