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Strategies for school to-work transition-david atchoarena, global hr forum 2010.pdf, seoul, korea


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Employment is one of the top national agenda across the world. More specifically, youth employment is more challenging as the current economic downturn has hit youth hard. According to ILO’s global …

Employment is one of the top national agenda across the world. More specifically, youth employment is more challenging as the current economic downturn has hit youth hard. According to ILO’s global employment trends released in 2010, almost 40% (83 millions) of the unemployed people in the world are youth aged 15-24.
Many youth leave school without developing the skills they need to succeed in the workplace or in postsecondary education. They are the future to build the foundations of the societies as strong members of civil society. To this end, the concept of ‘youth transition to work’ is extremely crucial in linking young people to livelihood and employment. In this session, discussions will be on how to set up the mechanism of close connection between school and labor market and on how to make youth transition to work smoothly.

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  • 1. Strategies for school-to-work transition 1 Strategies for school-to-work transition Global HR Forum 2010 26-28 October 2010, Seoul, Korea David Atchoarena UNESCO
  • 2. Strategies for school-to-work transition 2 Youth employment in times of crisis Young people face serious difficulties in making the transition to work This pattern is common in both advanced and developing countries The financial crisis has further deteriorated youth labour markets Basic facts and figures (ILO Global employment trends for youth, 2010): The number of young unemployed reached 81 million in 2009, 7.8 million more than in 2007 The youth unemployment rate stood at 13 per cent in 2009 (compared to 4.9 per cent for the adult unemployment rate) In developed and emerging economies the crisis produced an increase in youth unemployment In low-income countries, the impact has rather been an increase in poverty
  • 3. Strategies for school-to-work transition 3 Why focus on youth ? Economic concern: foregoing this potential is an economic waste Social concern: increase the vulnerability inherent in the transition from childhood to adulthood (link between youth unemployment and social exclusion) Political concern: threat to social and political stability
  • 4. Strategies for school-to-work transition 4 The complexity of youth labour markets Youth unemployment is only the tip of the iceberg Importance of studying the conditions of work of those who are employed Emergence of a new category: the « discouraged youth », the percentage of youth who are neither in education nor employment (NEET rate) reflects the non-utilized labour potential of the youth population. In low-income countries, only a small portion of the youth labour force is employed in registered companies.
  • 5. Strategies for school-to-work transition 5 Defining « transition » The position of youth in the labour market has been changing Transition cannot be simply described as the pathway from schooling to work Increasingly young people combine schooling with part-time job, they intersperse inactivity and work or job search The transition process is prolonged and discontinued
  • 6. Strategies for school-to-work transition 6 Education expansion Until the mid-1970s, the most typical age for entry into the labour market in developed countries was at the end of compulsory schooling Today, in many OECD countries, between one-third and one-half of young people go through some form of tertiary education. For the remainder, it has become typical to continue in education and training at least until the end of the upper secondary stage which is increasingly seen as the minimum necessary to ensure employability
  • 7. Strategies for school-to-work transition 7 Creating broad vocational tracks Changing technologies and work organisation require workers with multiple skills and the ability to adapt rapidly through continuous learning This has led to demands for broader forms of initial vocational education which lay the foundation for further learning The response to this in many countries has been to readjust upper secondary vocational programmes to contain a larger element of general education and more generic forms of vocational preparation, where the latter prepares participants for a cluster of occupations in a given sector rather than for a single one
  • 8. Strategies for school-to-work transition 8 The reform of apprenticeships Apprenticeships have a positive effect on access to employment Effects on wages and long-term employment prospects are more mixed Making the apprenticeship more flexible, to increase its reach across sectors and to raise its status in the eyes of young people Extending the upper age limits for apprentices, modularising programmes and broadening training through reduced specialisations and enhanced general education Establishing programmes in new sectors Further formalising the roles of the social partners in standard- setting, monitoring and evaluation Establishing better progression routes for apprentices to high-level education and training
  • 9. Strategies for school-to-work transition 9 Measures to enhance parity of esteem for vocational education Increased possibilities for transfer between vocational and academic courses have been developed, including improved progression routes into, and out of, the vocational tracks A further development has been to devise progression routes for the vocational tracks so that successful students may have further access to tertiary level education
  • 10. Strategies for school-to-work transition 10 Adapting tertiary education Increasingly preparation for the world of work takes place within tertiary education The expansion of tertiary education reflects both increasing social demand and the goals of public policies Emergence of new concerns: ◦ Over-supply of graduates ◦ Mismatch between field of studies and employment ◦ Life-long employability
  • 11. Strategies for school-to-work transition 11 Linkages with the labour market Improving information and career guidance Increasing flexibility of delivery to accommodate a wide diversity of learners and contribute to lifelong learning Reform financing criteria to regulate demand for and supply of certain skills Establishing vocationally-oriented institutions Involving labour market stakeholders in policy-making and governance structures at the system and institution levels
  • 12. Strategies for school-to-work transition 12 Concluding remarks Education is not the only variable that determines school to work transition, other determinants include gender, rurality, socio-economic status and social capital Youth labour market and school-to-work strategies vary from country to country Beyond the variety of policy instruments it is essential to combat school failure, early interventions are required to prevent a vicious circle of exclusion, in particular for at-risk-groups
  • 13. Strategies for school-to-work transition 13 Concluding remarks (ctd.) Besides skills development strategies, adequate attention needs to be paid to job-search assistance Skills development strategies need to be complemented with job creation policies and measures aiming at removing obstacles to hiring young people Effective school to work transition requires an integrated and coherent approach that combines interventions at the macro and microeconomic levels and addresses both labour demand and supply In this framework policy coherence and social dialogue constitute key elements.