Training drop-out in the hotel and catering industry – Individual reasons or lack of training quality?

Findeisen, Stefanie ; Seifried, Jürgen

Document Type: Conference presentation
Year of publication: 2018
Conference title: 9th EARLI SIG 14 Conference Learning and Professional Development 2018
Location of the conference venue: Geneva, Switzerland
Date of the conference: 12.-14.09.2018
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Wirtschaftspädagogik, Berufliches Lehren und Lernen (Seifried 2012-)
Subject: 370 Education
Abstract: The vocational education and training (VET) system plays a major role in the education of young people in Germany. About half of all high school graduates start a training program in the dual system. However, for some domains training drop-out is a major concern. This is especially true for the hotel and catering industry – in 2015, 47% of prospective chefs terminated their training program prematurely. Empirical evidence on the reasons for training drop-out, especially for this industry, is still scarce. This paper aims to contribute to this research gap and to provide insights into the factors influencing training drop-out of prospective chefs. We are specifically interested in whether individual reasons and/or aspects of training quality are responsible for drop-out. The study uses a longitudinal design with three measurement points to examine trainees during the first and second year of their apprenticeship program (N = 599; questionnaires and test instruments). Each measurement point covers (1) individual characteristics, (2) training characteristics, and (3) trainees’ (tendency to) drop out. When it comes to individual characteristics, the instruments cover specific traits (e.g., motivation, self-regulation) as well as trainees’ competence (e.g., prior knowledge in the field of cooking, mathematic skills, and reading skills). Concerning the training characteristics, the questionnaires comprise both trainees’ overall satisfaction with the training program or the training organization and in the second and third measurement point detailed aspects of training quality (e.g., evaluation of school-based instruction, competencies of trainers, quality of working tasks). In the first measurement point, the trainees also state their tendency to drop out. In the second and third data collection, we gather data on actual drop-outs through the teachers at the vocational schools. The analysis of the data is work in progress. Linear regression analysis based on data of the first measurement point show significant effects of both individual aspects (e.g. perceived fit) and trainees’ satisfaction with the training program on their tendency to drop out. In line with expectations and previous findings, prospective chefs’ satisfaction with the training program significantly lowers their drop-out tendency (β = -.248). Also, the higher a prospective chef’s perceived fit to the training program (e.g., perception that the training program matches his or her interests, abilities, etc.) the lower the tendency to terminate the apprenticeship (β = -.520). However, the tendency to terminate the training is not affected by whether the profession one is trained in is the profession one desired to be trained in. Furthermore, prospective chefs’ prior knowledge shows no significant effect on drop-out tendency. In further analysis, we will use data from measurement point 2 which offers more detailed information about the training quality and allows a deeper examination. The findings will be included in the final paper. The findings can be used by both policy makers and different parties involved in the training program, for instance trainers in the company or teachers at vocational schools, to implement strategies or support systems to reduce the high number of training drop-outs in the hotel and catering industry.

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