Logo: Deutsches Institut für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung


Optimising the ‚Transition System’ in Hesse

Educational pathways in the transition sector are assessed for the federal state of Hesse regarding their structure and effectiveness. Based on respective findings, the project will outline opportunities offered by the demography-related decrease in school leavers with regard to a more successful, targeted transition of adolescents from general education to school or company-based vocational education and training.

Project description

Across the nation, a structural change in the labour market has been observable for some time. This trend is marked by a shift toward a service and knowledge-oriented society and a decreasing significance of the production sector. At the same time, technological progress and the Internationalisation of markets cause rising expectations not only regarding qualifications of the workforce, but also of trainees and apprentices.

In Hesse as in other federal states, a trend toward higher levels of qualification can be perceived: A growing proportion of each age cohort strives to achieve a higher education entry qualification, and in recent years, rising numbers of students have entered higher education. Likewise, the growing level of school leaving qualifications has led to an increase in qualifications in the dual system of vocational education and training. Accordingly, placements in vocational education and training are nowadays rather held by applicants with an upper secondary school leaving degree than by students with a lower secondary level qualification. At the same time, each year more than 20,000 school leavers in Hesse enter the so-called “transition sector“ to receive a type of schooling that intends to prepare or facilitate their access to proper vocational education and training.

The project aims to assess the different educational measures subsumed under the term of “transition“ with respect to the structure of participants, pursued goals and effectiveness. Owing to demographic development, in the near future, the number of school leavers available to the vocational and training market in Hesse will decrease by more than 25%. The study investigates the possible removal of the transition sector in Hesse and analyses resulting financial potential that might be invested in promoting successful transition to school-based and dual vocational education and training. To this end, suggestions will be formulated for the future design of the education sector in Hesse, and concrete recommendations for action will be given regarding educational pathways in the transition sector.


Funded by the Federal State Ministry for Business, Transport and Development, Hesse, and the European Union Social Fund

Publications (in german)

Optimierung des Übergangsbereichs in Hessen (pdf)


Project management

Horst Weishaupt

Project details

Completed projects
06/2011 – 05/2012
Department: Department of Educational Governance
Contact: Horst Weishaupt
last modified Nov 25, 2013