Modern societies depend on the successful and comprehensive provision of skills, and receiving vocational training in any form has been experienced by a majority of the population in younger cohorts. There has therefore been a constant demand for timely information about the various forms of training and their relations to a broader societal context. Over the recent decades, the patterns of participation in education and training have become more extended, more complex and more heterogeneous. Against this background, the paper discusses to what extent existing and projected data sources are suitable for investigating the relevant scientific and policy-related questions. Among these questions are: How does participation in training develop over the life course? What are the relative chances of receiving specific types of training; who, in particular, is likely to receive the most attractive types? Are training measures effective? When reviewing the current data situation, it becomes clear that progress has undoubtedly been made in the past few years. It is also obvious, however, that fundamental questions can presently not be answered on the basis of the available large-scale data on vocational education and training. Some key recommendations are presented.
Keywords: Vocational training; data; research infrastructure; overview; Germany