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The interdisciplinary bridge project of the departments “Market Behavior” and “Skill Formation and Labor Markets” investigated the recruitment patterns of companies in vocational training and subsequent labor markets. In particular, when it comes to gaining apprenticeships, there are no studies about the relative importance of certain characteristics (such as school degrees, grades, social background, gender, participation in pre-vocational training programs) on corporate recruitment processes for different market segments (e.g., low- vs. high-skilled occupations, female vs. typical male professions, public vs. private employers).

Like the labor market, the training market is professionally, sectorally and socially divided. In economic theories, vocational training markets and labor markets are, however, usually designed to be homogeneous. Thereby, it is assumed that the recruitment behavior of firms follows universal mechanisms. These approaches are gradually being adopted by sociological research on labor markets. It is this universality, however, that is not called into question, although it has often been shown in sociological research that (a) in part, vocational training markets fulfill functions other than as a prerequisite to the labor markets and (b) labor markets are heterogeneous.The bridge project aimed at gaining new empirical findings on the social structuring of recruitment processes in vocational training markets, based on the employment of multi-methods. Furthermore, similarities and differences in recruitment behavior were examined in training and labor markets, and at the same time the question of universality and particularities were explored in recruitment patterns in order to contribute to constructive further development and the integration of sociological and economic theory strands.