02 SES 07 B, Transition Paths and Strategies
The high rates of youth unemployment (46.4% as opposed to 22.9% for the EU according to data from the OECD, 2012) and early school leaving (28.4% compared to 14.1% in the EU, according to data from the Spanish Ministry of Education, 2011) represent the tip of the iceberg as regards difficulties in school-to-work transition of young people in Spain.
The aim of this paper is to look at these transitions in depth, by studying the pathways of Spanish youth aged between 26 and 28 years, with no qualifications or with only lower secondary education or less (ISCED 2 or lower).
The research questions posed are the following: What training and work pathways have they followed after compulsory education? How do these articulate with other areas of life? What impact has the economic crisis that began in 2008 had on these pathways? What are the reasons that led to them taking these pathways? What relationship do these pathways bear with the school biography during compulsory schooling and with structural factors (social class, gender, migratory situation)? What is their relationship with contextual aspects (dominant values and paradigms, job market, social and employment policies)? What is their relationship with education and training policies, programmes and resources?
The main theoretical references for our study of school-to-work transitions are the contributions of GRET (Work and Education Research Group of the Autonomous University of Barcelona) to the study of youth as a biographical period and the analysis of transitions based on socio-historical and territorial context, institutional mechanisms and the biographical process (Casal, 1999; Casal, García, Merino, Quesada, 2006); those of EGRIS (European Group for Integrated Social Research) with regard to theoretical aspects and lines of analysis of successful trajectories and vulnerability (Walther et al., 2002) and those of Bidart (2006, 2008) to the study of pathways as processes.
As regards the relationships between education and employment, we start from the contradictions between the knowledge society discourse, transformations in the field of employment (Livingstone, 2010) and education and training policies and practices that largely act as a filter (Arrow, 1973, Spence, 1974, Stiglitz, 1975).
Arrow, K.J. (1973). Higher Education as a Filter. Journal of Public Economy, 2, 3-17. Bertaux, D. (1997). Les récits de vie. Perspective ethnosociologique. Paris: Nathan. Bidart, C. (2006). Crises, décisions et temporalités : autour des bifurcations biographiques. Cahiers Internationaux de sociologie, 120, 29-57. Bidart, C. (2008). Devenir adulte: un processus. In Didier Vrancken & Laurence Thomsin (dir.). L'état social à l'épreuve des parcours de vie. Academia Bruylant. P.209-225. Casal, J. (1999). Modalidades de transición profesional y precarización del empleo. In Cachón (1999). Juventudes, mercados de trabajo y políticas de empleo. València: 7 i mig. P. 151-180. Casal, J.; García, M.; Merino, R. Quesada, M. (2006). Aportaciones teóricas y metodológicas a la sociología de la juventud desde la perspectiva de la transición. Papers, 79, 21-48. Desmarais, D. (2009). L’approche biographique. In Gauthier (Dir.). Recherche social. De la problématique à la collecte des données. Québec: Presses de l’Université du Québec. P. 361-389. Livingstone, D.W. (2010). Job requirements and workers’ learning: formal gaps, informal closure, systemic limits. Journal of Education and Work, 23:3, 207-231. Ministry of Education (2011). Objetivos educativos Europeos y Españoles. Estrategia Educación y Formación 2020. Informe Español 2010-2011. Madrid: Secretaría General Técnica, Subdirección General de Documentación y Publicaciones. OECD (2012). Statistics. Accessed at http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?lang=fr, 3 of december, 2012 Spence, M. (1974). Market Signalling. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stiglitz, J.E. (1975). The Theory of ‘Screening’, Eduction, and the Distribution of Income. American Economical Review, 65, 3-18. Walther et al. (2002). Misleading trajectories. Integration Policies for Young Adults in Europe?. Opladen: Leske & Dudrich.
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