out as part of regular work processes in which the apprentice is involved from the first day.
The second criterion is the structure of the training process in the companies and it only applies for companies that can afford full-time staff. Traditionally there is a big distinction between the training for industrial occupations in the range of production (gewerblich-technisch) and for commercial occupations in the service sector (kaufmännisch). While the training of commercial apprentices immediately takes place at the workplace, i.e. in real work processes, industrial-technical apprentices usually get trained in a separate training workshop first. It is only after they have acquired some basic skills that they are slowly integrated into real work processes. Accordingly the structure of the VET personnel involved is also very different. Running a separate training workshop usually implies a higher number of full-time trainers and extra tasks in managing the apprentices when they circulate between the workshop and the production units.
The third criterion is the age of the enterprise (younger or older than 15 years). The older an enterprise is, the further developed usually are its management and HRD strategies and the more established its inner means of career development.
The fourth criterion finally is the kind of sector that the enterprise belongs to. New branches (like information technology i.e.) are not only characterised by new technologies but also by others ways of organising their work (in very client-oriented projects i.e.) compared to traditional ones - resulting in different learning cultures (Sonntag, Friebe, Schaper 2005, p. 193 ff.).
With the second criterion not applying for small enterprises we receive a preliminary sample of 12 companies:
At the moment we are about to start with the first case study. Results of all case studies and the qualitative stage are expected for the end of 2010 and of the project altogether in autumn 2011.