02 SES 11 A, Transitions: Students Investments in VET
The relationship between educational/training processes and the world of work – between schools, universities and companies – is a topic which, for some time, has neither stirred great enthusiasm nor aroused much interest. It is by no means a new idea, even though in recent years it has continued to expand, shifting from a school-work binomial to the wider one of school-territory. Substituting territory for companies is not so much a matter of simply making the debate more general as a change in perspective. In the school/university – work transition, in young people’s entrance into the world of adults, various actors play their parts. If once upon a time students (and their families) were contrasted with the world of work (incorporated above all in companies), more recently institutions, especially at local level, employers’ federations and bank foundations have come on stage. All of these subjects compete – each in its own way – in offering initiatives aimed at
helping young people over the difficult school-work transition. Yet, in spite of increased efforts in the field, school-work nexus remains weak. Indeed, workers in the field cannot help noticing that every season there appears a reform or a policy or a slogan designated to resituate the school, and its connection with the world of production, centre stage Apart from the uneasiness, the indignation, caused by the condition of youth (from the points of view of education, level of qualifications obtained and occupational insertion), what interventions do schools carry out on behalf of tomorrow’s adults? What is being done at the local level, which is where young people’s competence is really developed and initiatives on their behalf put into
practice. How is all that has been done on European and national levels in terms of education and training translated into opportunities from which young people may benefit? To try to understand how young Italians fit into the two categories, which the media and policy-makers assign to them (on one hand the need to orient them in view of the ocean of
qualifications and educational opportunities and, on the other, the pressure to seek abroad for superior qualifications and professional insertion), several qualitative sources have been taken into account: 1) interviews with upper-secondary-school manager; 2) interviews with young people and 3) a press review.
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