A system of qualification options has evolved that is complementary to companybased and school-based vocational training. Thus far, these alternatives have been largely disregarded by vocational education research. Yet with respect to the number of annual entries, those alternatives are currently nearly as significant as conventional vocational training. However, the question remains still unanswered if those alternatives are to be regarded as opportunities or rather as risk factors in respect of the vocational training or occupational integration of youth entering it.
Based on a longitudinal study, the German Youth Institute’s so-called ‘transition panel’ about the causes and effects of educational and vocational training-related pathways upon the occupational integration of young people leaving Hauptschule, the article aims at further investigation of the functions of those alternatives with regard to the integration into vocational training over the course