Conference paper Open Access

Creation, Maintenance, and Disruption. Occupational Associations and their Heterogeneous Institutional Work after the Swiss VET Policy Reform

Baumeler, Carmen; Engelage, Sonja; Strebel, Alexandra

Nägele, Christof; Stalder, Barbara E.

Collective skill systems rely on institutional arrangements among a multitude of actors. In Switzerland, occupational associations are responsible for defining the occupations’ training content and creating apprenticeship positions. They are important for fostering companies’ contribution to VET, representing their members’ interests in the national arena, and working together with public authorities to design and implement VET policies. In the aftermath of the Swiss VET policy reform of 2004, all occupations needed to be reformed and the number of occupations reduced, for example, by creating occupational fields. The increased pedagogical requirements and administrative workload put small occupational associations under pressure. However, after ten years, different outcomes (creation, maintenance, and disruption of occupations) are visible. With the theoretical framework of institutional work and based on a qualitative comparative case study, this contribution depicts the reform processes of three different occupational associations and identifies commonalities and differences between the three cases.

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