News and Events

The news and events attended or organized by the GOVPET team members.

Call for papers for the GOVPET PhD Workshop 2024

The GOVPET Leading House is hosting a PhD Workshop on “Skill mismatches and shortages: Discourses, policies and politics between education, labour markets and migration”. This event aims at building a network of young scholars with an interest in the political, economic and social arguments related to changing skill requirements and provisions in the 21st century. Abstracts up to 500 words should be submitted to Scherwin Bajka: by 20 November 2023."

For more information on the PhD workshop, click here.

Advisory Board Meeting 2023

The 2023 Advisory Board meeting took place on 24-25 May in St.Gallen. We have had in-depth discussions on the political economy of skill formation systems and the balance between inclusion and economic efficiency. We are extremely thankful to our board members for their expertise and commitment to our mission.

PhD Workshop 2023

The 2023 GOVPET PhD Workshop took place in Lausanne on 14-15 March 2023. We hosted PhD students from all across Europe and had the opportunity to exchange views and present work on “Skill formation and the knowledge economy –balancing upskilling and inclusiveness”. We were also honoured to have Niccolo Durazzi from the University of Edinburgh and Anja Giudici from the University of Newcastle delivering keynotes.

You can view the PhD programme here.

Call for papers

Call for papers and research grant on Increasing WBL in School-Based Systems: Broadening the Governance of VET in Central, Eastern and Southeast Europe.

Participation from early career researchers is particularly welcome!

Workshop and call for papers for the conference.

Call for applications in the field of Vocational Education and Training (VET).


PhD Workshop 2022

On April 13-14, 2022, GOVPET held its Annual PhD Workshop. On April 13, the junior faculty members participated in a Career Development Session co-organized with the Career and Corporate Services Center at the University of St.Gallen. In the morning of 14.04, we held some team meetings. Furthermore, in the afternoon, the team organized an interdisciplinary exchange at the SQUARE building of the University of St.Gallen. It featured VET practitioners in the ICT sector, representatives of the cantonal VET department and chamber of commerce, local ICT education initiatives, and VET researchers. We learned about the day-to-day and sectorial challenges, current initiatives and potential solutions to equip the ICT sector with the skills it needs. Special thanks to all the participants who made this event truly unique and our discussions most fruitful.

Online Workshop on "Education as Social Policy"

On 16-18 February 2022, the editors Martin B. Carstensen and Patrick Emmenegger organized an online workshop on "Education as Social Policy". Papers dealt with crucial topics such as active labor market policies, the inclusion of refugees in skill formation systems, recognition of diplomas, and, most importantly, reflected on the efficiency/equality tension in education. The workshop was extremely productive and proved an extraordinary platform for changing and advancing research! Below is a picture of one of the sessions. We would also like to thank the participants who are not pictured: Fabio Battaglia, Cathie Jo Martin, Orestis Papadopoulos, Emmanuele Pavolini, Tobias Schulze-Cleven and Boris Traue. 

SERI VET Congress 2021

On 14-15 October, GOVPET researchers took part in the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) Conference on VET research in Lugano. They participated in stimulating presentations by SERI and the other leading houses, and engaged in poster sessions where they discussed their research and received useful feedback and inspiration. 

GOVPET retreat 2021

On September 9-10, GOVPET held its first retreat since the start of the second funding period. The team met in Lugano and engaged in two days of intellectual exchange and social activities.

  • The researchers presented their projects and received useful feedback at the Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI).
  • Ruggero Cefalo presented recent work on the transfer of dual VET to Italy, which was illustrated against the backdrop of the Austrian case.
  • The researchers visited the social enterprise Sostare, which is dedicated to the social inclusion of vulnerable youth through specific vocational training programs. The entrepreneur is in charge of the restaurant Casa del Popolo.
  • The researchers met with representatives of the Ticino VET office, with whom they exchanged views on the future of VET and discussed the projects which ensure its strength in Switzerland at large.

Workshop and Call for Papers for Special Issue / Research Grant

GOVPET researchers organized a workshop and call for papers to contribute to a special issue on the governance of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the countries of Southeast Europe and the Black Sea Region. The workshop is organized by the Center for Governance and Culture in Europe (GCE at University of St.Gallen, Switzerland), the Leading House on Governance in Vocational and Professional Education and Training (GOVPET  at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland), and the New Europe College (NEC in Bucharest, Romania). It will take place in Bucharest in the last week of May 2022. It will be a great honour for us and an excellent opportunity for you to share your newest scientific work in the field of governance of VET in the countries of Southeast Europe and the Black Sea Region. In addition, we are supporting a junior researcher with a research grant interested in researching and collaborating in this particular field. 

The deadline to submit the research proposals and to apply for the research grant is the 14th of November 2021. They need to be sent to Submissions from late PhD students and Post-Doc researchers are particularly welcomed. 
For all general enquiries or enquiries regarding the program, please contact

We look forward to receiving your papers and applications, and seeing you at the workshop in Bucharest!

Advisory Board Meeting of GOVPET 2.0

The first Advisory Board Meeting of GOVPET 2.0 was held on 14-15 June 2021. It took place entirely on Zoom. Prof. Patrick Emmenegger started the Meeting with a presentation where he introduced the role of the advisory board, the new team, the transition from GOVPET I to GOVPET II and the focus areas and the projects of the second research period. Then, the advisory board engaged in feedback sessions with selected members of the team over the course of the two days. The Meeting also included a plenary joint discussion about the projects for the upcoming years, creating a long-term perspective. At the end, as usual, the Advisory Board gave its feedback on the overall project development. This meeting was an excellent avenue to gain inspiration, exchange views and expand GOVPET’s network.

PhD Workshop 2021

D This years' GOVPET workshop was, for the first time, entirely held online. The GOVPET team discussed the PhDs' and the Post-Docs' papers, exchanged ideas on the direction of their research projects and listened to two insightful keynotes. One keynote was held by Marius Busemeyer, who discussed the "Digitalisation, automation and the future of skill formation" and the other by Chiara Benassi, who presented her work on "Comparative institutional disadvantage: Small firms and vocational training in the British manufacturing sector in comparative perspective". Everyone has found these exchanges extremely useful for advancing their research, and we would like to thank all the participants for their valuable time and feedback. We look forward to future conferences and presentations, hopefully in person, once the regulations allow it.

Start of the second project phase of GOVPET

After five years of successful work, the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) approved the further funding of GOVPET as a Swiss Leading House. The second research phase started in July and will end in December 2024. During this time period, GOVPET researchers will analyse how global socio-economic trends, namely migration and technological change, affect skill formation systems. For more information on the research programme, please visit here. We warmly welcome our new PhD researchers: Scherwin Michael Bajka (St.Gallen), Cecilia Ivardi-Ganapini (St.Gallen), Margarida Matos (Lausanne), Ihssane Otmani (Lausanne) and Linda Wanklin (St.Gallen).

PhD Workshop 2020

Finishing or getting started with your dissertation is not always easy. On February 13, 2020 GOVPET PhD candidates will therefore get together in St.Gallen in order to discuss their research projects with VET experts. Dr. Janis Vossiek, Dr. Philipp Eigenmann and Dr. Jörg Markowitsch will advise two projects each. The tailored feedback will support PhD candidates in advancing, concluding or getting started with their research.

GOVPET Book Workshop

On November 22 and 23, GOVPET hosted the first of two book workshops in St.Gallen. The book with the provisionary title “Collective skill formation in the knowledge economy” comprises contributions which address the challenges for collective skill formation systems posed by the shift towards a knowledge economy that increasingly demands higher skills. Most of these challenges concern the growing importance of knowledge intensive production in advanced economies and the accelerated pace of change due to technological innovation and globalization. Can collective skill formation systems adapt (fast enough) to the needs of the knowledge economy? Or more concretely, can the training content of dual VET systems be expanded to reflect firms’ increasingly complex processes and needs for higher skills, or are there limits to this process concerning social inclusiveness or economic efficiency? Twenty-two authors discussed thirteen contributions addressing the above questions. A second workshop to be held in May will help to finalize the book chapters. 

6th Congress on Research in Vocational Education and Training

Congratulations to our GOVPET members who won Best Paper Awards at the 6th Congress on Research in Vocational Education and Training! The paper by Gina Di Maio, Anna Wilson and Lukas Graf titled “Trajectories of liberalization in collective governance: How short track apprenticeships entered the training system in Switzerland” won the second price. The third price went to Carmen Baumeler, Sonja Engelage and Alexandra Strebel for the paper “Reforming small occupations: Continuity and change”. The conference is organized yearly by the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training (SFUVET). This year the conference discussed “The end of VET as we know it? – Skills development in times of technical and social change”.

Advisory Board Meeting 2019

The fourth annual GOVPET advisory board meeting took place at the University of St. Gallen on 6-7 June 2019. Prof Cathie Jo Martin (Boston University) launched the meeting with a talk on her current research on the impact of 18th century literature on European welfare states. Together with Prof. Kathleen Thelen (MIT), Prof. Pepper Culpepper (University of Oxford), Prof. Philipp Gonon (University of Zürich), and Prof. Justin J.W. Powell (University of Luxembourg) we discussed our research. This annual interchange of ideas is a great opportunity for feedback and receiving inspiration for further inquiry. It also strengthens our international research network.

GOVPET visiting Bühler AG

Digitization has been a buzzword for some time, both in the political debate, as well as in academia. The field of vocational education is no exception in this respect. To understand the changes in the professional environment, GOVPET visited the production and education facilities of Bühler AG on November 15th, 2018. Bühler AG is a leader in mechanical and thermal process engineering. Looking at a concrete example of a major player in the Swiss mechanical and engineering sector, GOVPET discussed the effects of digitization on production and the resulting skill demands on employees. Andreas Bischof, director of vocational education at Bühler AG, and Rolf Felser, division manager at the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training (SFUVET) joined our visit. Their perspectives greatly enriched the discussion on the potential changes necessary to meet the upcoming challenges in the Swiss vocational education system.

Advisory Board Meeting 2018

The third annual GOVPET advisory board meeting took place at the University of Lausanne on 7-8 June 2018. GOVPET members presented current work-in-progress to their scientific advisors, therefore allowing for dissemination of knowledge, feedback, and inspiration for further research. Our international research network is further strengthened through this regular and intensive interchange of ideas with our advisory board, again welcoming prominent participants like Prof. Pepper Culpepper (University of Oxford), Prof. Philipp Gonon (University of Zürich), Prof. Cathie Jo Martin (Boston University) and Prof. Justin J.W. Powell (University of Luxembourg).

PhD Workshop 2018

The third annual GOVPET Graduate Workshop at SFIVET, Zollikofen near Bern, 22-23 February 2018 addressed the topic of “Intermediary associations and firms in collective skill formation systems”. Nine PhD students presented their work. The topics ranged from the creation of new apprentices in the sector of “Ropeways” to Active Labor Market Policies. Keynote speeches by Martin Behrens (Hans-Böckler-Stiftung) Johann Fortwengel (King’s College, London), and Jürg Schweri (Eidgenössisches Hochschulinstitut für Berufsbildung) provided useful impulses. The constructive feedback by the discussants encouraged lively and engaging discussions. The workshop also allowed GOVPET members to discuss synergies, as well as how to further proceed in the investigation of governance and inclusiveness of collective skill formation.

PhD Workshop 2017

Improving inclusiveness in dual VET systems” was the topic of the second annual GOVPET Graduate Workshop, which was hosted by GOVPET at the University of Lausanne on 4-5 May 2017. 14 PhD-students from five countries successfully presented their research projects to an academic audience. The lively discussions were enriched by keynote speeches by Christian Ebner (University of Cologne), Christian Lyhne Ibsen (University of Copenhagen) and Christian Imdorf (University of Berne). The PhD workshop also offered the opportunity to jointly locate research gaps and use synergies to further investigate the governance of collective (dual) skill formation systems and related questions of inclusiveness.

International VET Congress 2017 (Organized by SFIVET)

Patrick Emmenegger (University of St.Gallen) and Carmen Baumeler (Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training) are members of the Scientific Committee in Berne from 14 till 16th March 2017. GOVPET will propose two symposia on VET governance.

Conference on VET Research 2016 (Organized by the SERI)

Keynote speech from 22. and 23. September 2016 by Patrick Emmenegger (University of St.Gallen). GOVPET PhD students Gina Di Maio (University of St.Gallen), Lina Seitzl (University of St.Gallen), Alexandra Strebel (Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training), and Anna Wilson (University of Lausanne) present posters of their respective projects. Additionally, GOVPET visits Aprentas' training network lab in Muttenz (picture).