|The Transition of Youth from School to Work: Issues and Policies (IIEP, 2000, 188 p.)|
This volume provides an international review of issues and programmes concerning the transition from school to work. It combines country-specific papers (Kenya, Korea, South Africa) and regional contributions (selected Latin American countries - Argentina, Brazil, Chile - and OECD countries). Preliminary versions of the papers presented here were prepared for a round table dedicated to the integration of youth into working life, organized within the Second International Congress on Technical and Vocational Education (Seoul, Korea, 26-30 April 1999).
The integration of youth into working life recently became an important policy issue in most countries. Worldwide, the transformation of work and employment has weakened the prospects of a steady, secure job, even for the most educated youngsters. A high level of youth unemployment is one of the manifestations of this phenomenon. The adjustment process to globalization requires young people to develop new skills and the ability to receive, on a lifelong basis, further training to cope with future, unpredictable, labour market changes. For many, it also means more vulnerability. The increasing difficulties met by young people to enter the labour market has led governments to pay particular attention to school-to-work transition.
While dealing with broader issues pertaining to the way young people enter the labour market, the various papers contained in this volume focus on how technical and vocational education can facilitate the transition from school to working life. In this context, technical and vocational education also includes vocational training.
The book looks at a diversity of programmes and clientele, including school-based strategies for regular students (Korea), non-formal targeted programmes for traditional apprentices (Kenya), youth training programmes for unemployed young adults (Latin America) and comprehensive strategies cutting across target groups and delivery systems (OECD, South Africa). This broad perspective also allows to highlight the complex but necessary interactions between education policies and other fields of government interventions, particularly labour market policies.
Starting with an introductory part providing the conceptual and contextual framework in which the transition from school to work takes place, the content of the publication consists of five papers, each documenting a specific dimension of the transition issue and analyzing the rationale and the effects of the policy implemented to address it. Altogether, this collection offers a wide view of the experiments currently conducted in a variety of development contexts to shape more effective transition pathways between school and work.
This publication does not include a detailed series of policy recommendations, but rather documents current country experiences, which express both doubts and progress. It suggests that youth transition from school to work requires a renewed approach integrating a diversity of interventions which can no longer be limited to schooling strategies. As such, transition issues reflect one aspect of the complex transformation affecting contemporary societies, both in developing and developed economies.