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Mühlemann, Samuel; Wolter, Stefan C. (2017): Can Spanish firms offer dual apprenticeships without making a net investment? Empirical evidence based on ex ante simulations of different training scenarios. In: Evidence-Based Hrm-A Global forum for Empirical Scholarship, Vol. 5, No. 1: pp. 107-118
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to simulate the potential costs and benefits for Spanish firms providing dual apprenticeship training. Design/methodology/approach - The paper conducts simulations of ten training occupations in six different industries in Spain. For these simulations, the authors combined Spanish wage data and the existing training curriculum regarding instruction times in vocational school in Spain with data from Swiss firms offering training in similar occupations. These data contain information regarding the amount of workplace training, relative apprentice productivity, and the relative importance of non-wage training costs (such as training equipment). Findings - The authors found that training occupation, training scenario, and firm size are important determinants of the authors' simulations for the expected net costs of apprenticeship training in Spanish firms. Consequently, the break-even level of apprentices' wages differs significantly by training occupation and training scenario, suggesting that one prescribed apprentice wage for all sectors and occupations would be detrimental to the willingness of many firms to provide training places. Practical implications - Dual apprenticeship training may improve the labor market transition for Spanish youth. The paper provides guidelines for regulatory frameworks that allow firms to provide apprenticeship training without having to bear net training costs - an important condition given that apprentices are free to leave the training firm upon graduation. Social implications - The authors' simulations show that Spanish firms would be able to provide high-quality apprenticeship training programs that would also appeal to more talented youth because of the combination of a decent earning opportunity during the apprenticeship and good future career options. Originality/value - This paper provides novel and direct empirical evidence regarding the framework conditions within the Spanish apprenticeship system, thus incentivizing both firms and individuals to participate in dual apprenticeship training programs.