BIBB Report 1/2016 - Why not “salesperson specialising in foodstuffs” rather than “management assistant for retail services”?
Vocational orientation of young people taking as an example two occupations which are related yet different in terms of demand
The training market in Germany suffers from matching problems. Whereas many training places cannot be filled in some occupations, others are in such demand that large numbers of young people are unsuccessful in their applications. This even affects occupations which exhibit similar job profiles, such as "salesperson specialising in foodstuffs" and "management assistant for retail services". Whereas the former has a high number of unfilled apprenticeship places, many young people fail to find a training place in the latter. The present paper addresses the question of how young people – all of whom participated in the 2014 BA/BIBB Applicant Survey – perceive these two occupations and looks at the consequences of this for their training preferences. It makes reference to a general action model and a theory which primarily sees career choice as a means of establishing one’s own identity. To the young people, the job profiles of the two occupations appear very similar, and proximity to their own wishes is similarly high. However, the occupation of "management assistant for retail services" fares significantly better in terms of the young people’s needs to establish their own social identity. By way of contrast, the young people are not aware of the major benefit offered by the occupation of "salesperson specialising in foodstuffs" – the fact that it offers much better opportunities of accessing the training market.
The full article is available for download in German only.