02 SES 07 C, Core Skills for Work and Lifelong Learning
The study to be presented investigates how learning can support workers’ transition on the labour market based on biographical interviews conducted in five European countries (Germany, France, Denmark, Italy and Spain). The purpose of the study is to extract common themes, approaches, ways and/or trajectories representing this relationship, based on individuals’ reflection upon their experiences with career transitions and coping strategies. The analysis of the interviews focuses on the identification of drivers for workers to engage in different forms of learning and the ways in which learning contributed to the management of labour market transitions. There will be a classification and description of the types of learning experience and specific learning characteristics considered useful by individuals, as well as an outline of criteria with which to assess if the transition was successful.
These elements will contribute to the constitution of building blocks for a theoretical model that describes the ways in which learning supports the successful management of labour market transitions. Of particular interest is the relation between agency and structure. Learning is herewith mainly understood from a utilitarian point of view as an active contribution to the building of employability. In this framework, the way individuals understand their life course and their learning can reveal different forms of learning that assisted them in their labour market transitions. The analysis of the narrative accounts will therefore touch upon the following issues:
- Why and how the individual approached learning during labour market transitions;
- Why and how learning shaped the course of the labour market transition;
- The criteria to assess whether transitions were successful (subjective assessment);
- The extent to which the individual’s considerations of the past influence the perception of future labour market trajectory and transitions; and
- A description of future career plans and the role of lifelong learning in these plans.
The way a labour market transition is eventually managed by individuals and the role of learning in this process is shaped by a complex interplay of various factors that can be traced back to three dimensions:
I. The availability of opportunities influenced by policy design and macroeconomic context:
- Labour market structure
- General macroeconomic conditions
- Availability of and opportunity to access the quality of lifelong learning and training programs
- The role of learning and training in human resource practices within organizations
II. Individual attitudes and inclinations:
- Attitudes, values and beliefs about learning and learning benefits,
- Individual dispositions to cope with the concomitants of change in transitions,
- Individual dispositions towards career transitions,
- Individual inclinations for specific settings in which learning takes place and/or learning itself.
III. The Social Environment:
- The importance of learning (or certain types of learning) and its role in the management of labour market transitions is also affected by norms about the life course, career and learning set by family, peers, and the social environment.
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