Youth transitions - S/. Petkovic EYC budapest seminar september 2014
from fixed to open ended paths
EYC Budapest, September 2014
• The concept and main aproaches to youth transitions
• De-standardized youth transitions
• Transition to labour life
• Understanding social inclusion
• Policy approaches to youth transitions
• Integrated policy approach
• The role of youth work and NFE
• Perspective of the CoE
The concept and main approaches
• Youth acknowledged as ‘transitional life stage’.
• Main developmental aim: Integration of youth in society
(social, economic, political, cultural).
• Standard life course model: linear sequences.
• Model based on fluidity and change : fragmentation of life
course transitions (Chrisholm 2011).
• Socio-cultural context: different kinds of youth ‘modernities’
• Models of youth transitions to labour life (Eurofound 2014):
influenced by the welfare state regimes.
De-standardized youth transitions
• Trajectories: prolonged, fragmented, unpredictable,
complex, individualized, vulnerable.
• Navigation: the relevance of ‘individual agency’ –
decizionmaking, responsibility, motivation, skills,
knowledge, risk management, acces to resources.
• Young people’s lifes oscilate between autonomy and
• De-standardization reinforces vulnerability on employment
and exclusion : lack of reliable trajectories.
• A general long term trend: increase of risks and opportunities
and widening gap between two.
Transition to labour life
• The risks mainly expressed through high youth
unemployment rates, increasing number of youth in casual
and low paid work.
• Education and employment decoupled: educational levels are
rising, increasing difficulties with labour market entry.
• No guarantee: the accumulation of skills, knowledge and
qualifications remains central to secure sustainable career.
• The risks of a delayed process of transition to labour market -
a severe long term impact on life projects, affect access to
social security schemes, professional development, self-
esteem and resilience of young people.
Understanding social inclusion
• Balancing Agency and Structure (Giddens, 1984).
• Integration is not ‘mechanical’ - youth actively engaged in
constructing their individual biographies.
• Prolongation and fragmentation of youth transitions
postpones access to social rights and citizenship based on
• Sustainable inclusion of youth: employment pathways
broadened to social integration pathways with work as a key
element compatible with other elements.
Policy approaches to youth transitions
• Appropriate policy responses must differentiate according to
the increasingly complex, unpredictable and vulnerable
trajectories of young people today.
• A public policy for youth has to be anchored in the conditions
and aspirations of its target group and in the political
objectives set by the respective public authorities.
• The policies that stimulate autonomy and wellbeing promote
human development and have the added value of making
young people aware, more resilient and better protected
from potential risks (CoE).
Integrated policy approach
• Addressing increasing risks and opportunities has implication
on policy design.
• The importance of linking yout policies to the changing social
conditions and aspirations of young people.
• The success of youth integration into society depends on how
their needs are met in other sectors.
• Youth policy - a conscious and structured cross-sectoral policy
of the youth field aiming to co-operate with other sectors and
co-ordinate services for youth – involving young people
themselves in the process (Williamson, 2002).
The role of youth work and NFE
• Supporting ‘individual agency’ - building capacities and
competences of youth needed for successful navigation and
management of their transitional processes.
• Consultative group (Feb 2014):
‘There is a need to advance the recognition agenda at
national and local level, as means to both add to the
recognition and validation of the competences acquired by
young people through youth work and non-formal learning,
but also to give the sector the means and priority necessary to
further develop quality work’.
Perspective of the CoE
• The social task of youth transition is:
‘To enable young people to be active citizens socially, as well
as in the work life. To be an active citizen requires the
autonomy to develop and express one’s ideas and identity.
This is why youth policy should promote young people’s
access to autonomy, and help young people be autonomous,
responsible, creative, committed and caring for others’ (CDEJ
‘Transition to adulthood encompasses more processes than just
access to the labour market for young people’.
The new expected result of the CoE (2014-2015)
Transition to autonomy and labour life
• The proposed aim is to develop innovative youth policy and youth work
responses to the current challenges posed to young people, and to
advance the work previously done on access to social rights, youth
participation, human rights education, and recognition of non-formal
• An Online platform – a tool to facilitate the aggregation of systematic
research, exchange of good practices, and foster dialogue between
different actors of the ‘triangle’ in the youth field at the national and
European level, bringing in practitioners, researchers and policy makers.
• Reflection on the role of youth policy and youth work in
supporting integrated approach to youth transitions (to
• Reflection on professional experience and contribution of the
participants based on their background.
• Reflection on the function and purpose of the platform as a
tool to support an integrated approach to youth transitions
(to labour life).