14 SES 05 A, Vulnerable Young Adult´s Life Course Transitions
The difficulties regarding the transition from school to work for persons with disabilities is a well-studied subject (Schriner, 2001, Danziger and Ratner, 2010, Mavromaras and Polidano, 2011). The low employments rates among people with disabilities is thoroughly documented as well; e.g. in Norway (Jørgensen and Clausen, 2007, Lergard 2012), in UK (Hansen, Andreassen, and Meager, 2011), in US (Newman et al. 2011), in Germany (Gebhardt et al. 2011) and in Spain (Pallisera 2011). The percentages of people with disabilities aged 16 to 64 I Norway, were for an example 46 percent in 2015. The percentage is far below the rest of the population (Næsheim and Sundt, 2016).
However, the study of the transition from school to work captures just a small part of the life course of an individual. Studies of the long-term employment outcomes on the labor market among people with disabilities is not common. As Rigg (2005, 27) pointed out, remarkably little is known about the progression of disabled individuals in work. Some exceptions could be mentioned, for example Lindstrom, Doren and Miesch (2011) and Myklebust and Båtevik (2014).
The aim of this article is to study the long-term employment outcomes for young people with special educational needs. How many of the former special educational needs students from the secondary school cohorts of the mid 1990ies are in permanent work 20 years later? How many of them hold a stable labormarket position. What kind of long-term “determinants” influence the chances of holding such a position? Does their background as special educational needs student influence their long-term employment? In short, what factors matters, when the former students are at the age of 36 to 37?
Analysis of long-term employment outcomes for young people with special educational needs requires longitudinal studies. The life course perspectives give a theoretical foundation for such studies. The life course perspective involves great changes at the level of society that may influence the situation of each individual, as well as individual ability to plan, to choose and to act (Elder & Johnson, 2003). Individuals are embedded in social relationships. The school context is, for example, important in this respect whether the students are included in regular or special classes. So is timing – that is, the point in time in a life course at which important transitions take place. A critical aspect is whether such transitions take place at all (e.g., a failure to acquire formal vocational or academic skills). Transitions are important, as well as the question of change or stability during the life course, in longitudinal studies. In the study of long-term employment outcomes, the question of change or stability will be in focus.
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