Dynamics and Perspectives
Edited by Peter Ester, Ruud Muffels, Joop Schippers and Ton Wilthagen
Chapter 11: Get the Balance Right: Risk and Flexibility in School-to-Work Transition Sequences
Christian Brzinsky-Fay 11.1 INTRODUCTION Many European countries have active labour market policies that aim either to integrate school leavers into the labour market or to keep young people at work. In most cases, these policies are targeted at certain problem groups that face higher risks of labour market exclusion – migrants and early school leavers are typical examples. These groups need help in particular situations, such as when they are looking for an apprenticeship or a job. But any focus on labour market transitions must look not only at single situations or status changes, but also at changes over the longer period, that is, at sequences of transitions. For example, a single change from unemployment to employment does not really provide much information about the integrative or risk character of the whole process of labour market entry. To assess this process properly, it is essential to extend the observation window and consider more than just one transition at a time. The objective of this chapter is to identify different types of school-towork transition sequences in ten European countries by using the methods of optimal matching and cluster analysis. Such an approach requires access to comparative longitudinal data, which in this case is provided by the monthly labour market status information contained in the European Community Household Panel (ECHP). As regards the risks inherent in the process of labour market entry, the school-to-work transition should provide an adequate amount of security (in terms of future employment prospects or income) and at the...
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