Why Returning to VET?

Results of a Qualitative Comparative Study about English and German Car Mechatronics


  • Erika Edith Gericke Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Germany




VET, Vocational Education and Training, Comparative Qualitative Research, Lifelong Learning, Return on Education and Training, England, Germany


Educational choices, especially the influence of class on these choices have been a subject of lively international debate. However, thus far, there has been little international and comparative research with respect to vocational and education training (VET) decision making from a subject-oriented perspective. This paper considers occupational-biographical orientations of English and German car mechatronics and focuses on the roles of learning and gaining vocational qualifications. Drawing on the concept of occupational-biographical orientations, the paper describes three types of orientations based on analyses of findings from 11 autobiographical-narrative interviews with English and German car mechatronics. The interviews clearly showed that occupational-biographical orientations explained different views on the necessity of returning to (continuous) vocational education and training. They also demonstrated that subjective perceptions of the national VET system fostered particular occupational-biographical challenges, which supported or hindered existing learning attitudes. Overall, the findings suggested that occupational-biographical orientations exerted the most important influence on learning biographies and decisions to return to (continuous) VET.


Online First / Final Publication Date


How to Cite

Gericke, E. E. (2017). Why Returning to VET? Results of a Qualitative Comparative Study about English and German Car Mechatronics. International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training, 4(3), 206–225. https://doi.org/10.13152/IJRVET.4.3.2



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