GOVPET Leading House Research Program Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET) systems are attracting increasing attention once again due to their stellar economic performance. Also Switzerland is more and more the destination of “study visits” of foreign observers interested in learning how VPET systems work in real life. However, dual vocational training systems are difficult to maintain and even more difficult to create from scratch. The reasons for these difficulties lie in the collectively organized structure of VPET systems, in which a multitude of firms, intermediary associations and public authorities cooperate in the provision, financing and administration of skill formation. In particular, VPET systems presuppose that private actors agree to voluntarily cooperate at a decentralized (i.e. regional/sectoral) level. While states may be able to adopt laws premised on such cooperation, states typically lack the means to enforce it. The challenge of maintaining decentralized cooperation becomes even more vexing if one considers that states have a strong interest in getting private actors to consider societal goals in decentralized cooperation. However, while private actors might have a clear interest in skilled workers, their interest in providing training to disadvantaged labor market participants is less straightforward. Careful governance strategies are needed in the case of collectively organized training systems. However, the strategies used to maintain decentralized cooperation are not very well understood, not least because most research so far has focused on so-called cooperation dilemmas, i.e. situations in which cooperation fails because private interests are at odds with collective interests. However, in case of VPET systems, decentralized cooperation is working surprisingly well in the collectively organized VPET systems of Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Hence, the analysis of these VPET systems provides the unique opportunity to understand why and how private actors maintain cooperation and how states can get these private actors to consider societal interests in their decentralized cooperation. This Leading House Governance in Vocational and Professional Education and Training (GOVPET) focuses on the governance of VPET systems. More concretely, it focuses on two central research questions that are, however, strongly connected. First, we analyze how decentralized cooperation in skill formation is made possible given the ever-present threat of cooperation breakdown, and ask what stakeholders can do to get private actors to cooperate. Second, we examine how public policies can get private actors to consider societal goals in decentralized cooperation that are not necessarily in the interest of these private actors using the case of the inclusion of disadvantaged labor market participants in the systems of (initial and continuous) vocational and professional training. We examine these two research questions in eight projects. To answer research question 1, we scrutinize cooperation and conflict in skill formation at the regional and sectoral level. Hence, in contrast to existing research that mainly focuses on the national level, we disaggregate the different layers of cooperation. More concretely, we conduct a fivefold comparative analysis: the analysis of decentralized cooperation in various Swiss regions with a special focus on the role of cantonal authorities (lead project 1.1, Patrick Emmenegger, Lukas Graf); the analysis of decentralized cooperation in various economic sectors in Switzerland with a special focus on the role of professional organizations (project 1.2, Alexandra Strebel); the cross-national comparison of decentralized cooperation in regions with similar economic profiles (project 1.3, Gina di Maio); the cross-national comparison of decentralized cooperation in the same economic sectors (project 1.4, Lina Seitzl); and the cross-national comparison of decentralized cooperation in multi-national firms (project 1.5). To answer research question 2, we examine how governments can get private actors to consider societal goals in decentralized cooperation using the case of the inclusion of disadvantaged labor market participants in the system of skill formation. We do so in three projects: Lead project 2.1 (Giuliano Bonoli, Delia Pisoni, Anna Wilson) analyses existing tools to promote an inclusive VPET system in Switzerland and other countries with a collectively organized training system. Project 2.2 (Anna Wilson) examines employers’ recruiting practices and attitudes towards accessibility of the VPET system. Finally, project 2.3 (Delia Pisoni) explores targeted programs (so-called “second chance” training programs) that aim at providing vocational training to young people who have not managed to obtain a qualification through the standard channels. Overall, the Leading House promises to generate insights that will help improve our understanding of the strengths, weaknesses and conditions of decentralized cooperation and analyze how the needs of disadvantaged people and the goal of social inclusion are considered in the governance of the VPET system, which is crucial for maintaining a thriving VPET system and for improving social integration. With regard to the further development of the VPET system, the permeability between different parts of the national educational system and the attractiveness of the VPET programs are among the most important challenges. The Leading House contributes to solving these challenges.