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close this bookThe Transition of Youth from School to Work: Issues and Policies (IIEP, 2000, 188 p.)
close this folderChapter I. From initial education to working life: making transition work by Marianne Durand-Drouhin and Richard Sweet
View the documentIntroduction
View the document1. The purposes and outcomes of the OECD Thematic Review
View the document2. Changes in young people's transition to work during the 1990s
View the document3. The transitions are taking longer
View the document4. Changing patterns of participation in education and training
View the document5. The key features of effective transition systems
View the document6. Well-organized pathways that connect initial education with work, further study or both
View the document7. Workplace experience combined with education
View the document8. Tightly-knit safety nets for those at risk
View the document9. Good information and guidance
View the document10. Effective institutions and processes
View the document11. No single model - what counts is giving priority to youth

11. No single model - what counts is giving priority to youth

These key ingredients of effective transition systems can work in different ways and in different circumstances to achieve success. National cultures, traditions and institutions will all influence the particular combinations that are effective.

Countries face quite different policy challenges in attempting to improve the transition from initial education to working life. For example, countries where problems are concentrated among teenagers and early school leavers face quite different policy issues to countries in which problems are concentrated among young adults. Countries with large apprenticeship systems face quite different challenges to countries with large general education systems. In the former group of countries, issues such as the need for broader entry points to apprenticeship and the need for better links to tertiary study will be more pressing. In the latter countries, the problem of motivating lower-achieving students by building better bridges between general education pathways and work will be more important.

Some of the key features of effective transition systems are difficult to transplant across national borders without modifications to key labour market institutions: for example, regulating labour markets so that particular types of occupational qualifications are required for entry to particular types of jobs; or requiring all employers to belong to economic chambers. However, other key features do not appear to be closely dependent upon the nature of national labour market institutions. In particular, safety nets for those at risk in the transition and career information and guidance appear to be able to be introduced or improved in a wide variety of different national contexts.

Although institutional frameworks differ, all effective transition systems appear to have one thing in common: underlying them are societies that assume responsibility for young people's transition from education to work. In different ways these societies make focused efforts to ensure that national transition arrangements are inclusive, so that as few young people as possible fall through the cracks. It is the fact that supportive and effective arrangements - whether apprenticeships, safety nets, or efficient recruitment systems - are in place, rather than the specific nature of such arrangements, which appears to make a difference between more and less successful transition systems. This is one of the most important lessons to have emerged from the Thematic Review.