Abstract and Figures

Youth first footsteps at the labour market (LM) affect the further career and also relate to other life domains. The trajectories depend not only on the personal characteristic of the young person but also on the institutional settings, especially on educational system, labour market regulations, employment policies and overall economic climate. Therefore, the labour market transition sequences could take different paths in different countries.
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... While Slovenia's education and training system is standardized and vocationally specific, Estonia's is neither standardized, stratified nor vocationally specific. Moreover, Estonia has weaker employment protection than the OECD average, whereas Slovenia is clearly above that average (despite recent measures to increase labor market flexibility according to Rokicka et al. [2018]). ...
... However, with unemployment rates of 13 percent and 16 percent, respectively, youth unemployment is comparably high in Estonia and Slovenia. In addition, the formal education and training rate in Estonia is relatively low, with many young people receiving no formal education after compulsory schooling (Pusterla, 2017;Rokicka et al., 2018). In smoothness (e.g., Freeman & Wise, 1982;Dewan & Peek, 2007;Renold et al., 2014). ...
... In contrast, mostly general knowledge is taught as a relevant occupational skill in the Bulgarian VET system. While, during the state socialist era, education served the goals of the centrally planned economy that corresponded to the various economic sectors, the relation with enterprises was eliminated and vocational education in Bulgaria became increasingly school-based after 1989 Rokicka et al. 2018). Hence, the education-employment linkage can be assumed to be stronger in Switzerland than in Bulgaria, even though an extensive VET system prevails in both countries. ...
... This is obvious from the high share of students pursuing vocational education at the upper secondary level, mostly acquired through company-based dual-track VET, which amounts to a good two-thirds of the age group (Wettstein et al. 2017, 100). Bulgaria's education system, which combines some of the features from its socialist past with some new developments as it is the case with other Central European (CEE) countries (Rokicka et al. 2018), is also characterized by a relatively widely developed, largely school-based vocational education offer Stefanova 2014). Still, the Bulgarian share of students enrolled in VET is (at 54%) below the level of Switzerland. ...
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Abstract Previous comparative research has uncovered considerable cross-country differences in occupational gender segregation. There is, however, a lack of research on the role of educational systems in the creation of gender segregation and gendered school-to-work transitions. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of vocational education and the strength of the education–employment linkage in the transmission of horizontal gender segregation from education into the labour market. Transition system literature points to a stronger linkage between education and employment in countries where initial vocational education and training dominates the educational offers, and to a weaker linkage in countries with a stronger focus on general education. Moreover, research on gender segregation in education shows that segregation is especially pronounced in educational systems with a strong vocational education and training sector on the upper secondary level. Based on these insights, we hypothesize that gender segregation in education and its transmission to employment is more pronounced the more distinct a country’s initial vocational education and training system is. To test our assumption, we compare individual school-to-work transitions in Switzerland and Bulgaria, with the vocational principle being more prevalent in the structuring of Swiss educational offers. We use data from the Swiss Youth Panel Survey TREE (N = 3215) and the Bulgarian School Leaver Survey BSLS (N = 885). Following recent developments in multi-group segregation research, entropy-based measurements are calculated to study the school-to-work linkages and the transmission of gender segregation in the two select countries. The empirical results confirm a more pronounced educational gender segregation in Switzerland, which is transferred more strongly into the labour market due to the tighter linkage in that country between education and employment compared to Bulgaria.
... Bulgaria's education system combines features from its communist past with some new developments, as is the case with other Central and Eastern European countries [22]. The enrolment rate for the highly stratified upper secondary education for the 2013/2014 school year was about 83% [23]. ...
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Bulgaria’s educational and economic landscapes are marked by substantial regional disparities that are interlaced with ethnic inequalities in school-to-work transitions. Young adults from Roma and Turkish origins particularly suffer from disadvantages with respect to education and labour market participation. We ask how ethnicity affects labour market entry in Bulgaria once educational resources of different ethnic groups are accounted for, and how regional contexts impact ethnic disparities in employment insecurities. Building on comparative school-to-work transition (STWT) concepts and on the labour queueing approach, we assume that ethnic disparities in the STWTs of youths in Bulgaria depend on the degree of urbanisation and the strength and structure of the regional economy. The study draws on data from the Bulgarian School Leaver Survey 2014 of 2103 young adults who had left education in the five years preceding the survey. Descriptive analysis and multilevel logistic regression models were applied to analyse STWT patterns with a special focus on education, regional contexts, and ethnicity. The results highlight that STWT risks differ considerably across the Bulgarian regions. The strength of the local economy thereby moderates ethnic disparities. Young people from Roma and Turkish origins are much less disadvantaged to transition towards employment compared to ethnic Bulgarians the stronger the local economy gets. Our study has several policy implications. In addition to the development of public and private employment opportunities for disadvantaged young people, special attention should also be paid to the development of quality vocational education at the national and regional level.
... Comparative research has demonstrated that across Europe, youth often do not find a smooth transition into the labour market and experience long term job searching and episodes of being not in employment, education, or training (NEET) (O'Reilly et al., 2015;Rokicka et al., 2018;Unt & Gebel, 2018;Unt et al., 2021). Moreover, if young people manage to find employment, they often face job insecurity in the form of temporary positions (Karamessini et al., 2019;Passaretta & Wolbers, 2019). ...
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Purpose: The article uses two case studies to explore the impact of repeated lockdowns upon the delivery of child protection and youth offending services in the UK. Design/methodology/approach: The article draws upon two in-depth interviews - drawn from a global mixed-methods project on the Covid-19 pandemic - with a Child Protection Officer in the North West and a Youth Offending Worker from the West Midlands. Findings: The two case studies demonstrate that already-austerity hit Children’s and Young People’s services moved almost all their service delivery online, preventing frontline child practitioners and youth offending workers from properly assessing, monitoring, and supporting vulnerable children and young people. In both case studies, the participants claim that repeated lockdowns have done irreversible damage to their client relationships; jeopardised potential progress out of vulnerable situations; and heightened risks for many of their client group. Notwithstandingthese two workers faced pressure to adhere to both the Covid-19 regulations and health and safety protocols. While our participants felt this affected the quality of their engagement with young people, they aired frustrations at other colleagues who, they suggested, appeared ‘content’ to have minimal contact with their client group. Nevertheless, the two workers demonstrated admirable resilience as they strove to deliver essential support to their clients. In a climate of local authority debt, school closures and further challenges to information sharing because of the pandemic, these two workers doubt support systems will return to pre-Covid standards and expect online working to continue, to the detriment of vulnerable children and young people. Essentially, these two examples indicate how Covid-19 measures close the door on protecting vulnerable children and young people. Originality: The article builds upon the emerging empirical evidence on how lockdowns have impacted children and young people’s services. Practical implications: The limited yet detailed findings potentially highlight important deficits in the social care sector in general. Social implications:Though ungeneralizable, we suggest our participants’ experiences might be replicated in some other child protection and youth offending services across the UK.
... Similarly, lower employment protection did not strengthen youth labour markets. In the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, most young people enrolled in vocational education and training courses and got jobs despite important legal protection, while Hungary adopted more flexible policies but failed to neutralise regional gaps (Rokicka et al. 2018). ...
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Literature on education and training highlights two factors that impinge on the distribution of early leaving (ELET) and exclusion from employment and training (NEET) across EU regions. One of these factors lies in the institutions that regulate the transition from education and training to employment at the national level. Over time, these institutions have constituted a Universalistic regime in Scandinavia, an Employment-Centred regime in Central Europe, a Liberal Regime in the UK and Ireland, a Sub-Protective regime in Southern Western Europe and an array of Post-Socialist regimes. The other factor lies at the local and regional levels of governance. In some regions, diverse stakeholders are capable to encourage early school leavers to undertake education and training again, and have constructed complex schemes of vocational education and training that embrace apprenticeships, secondary and tertiary education. By exploring the regional distribution of ELET and NEET rates between 2003 and 2015, our findings report mixed trends of convergence. While in Universalistic and Employment-Centred regimes we find out convergence insofar as the more vulnerable regions catch up, in Liberal, Sub- Protective and Post- Socialist regimes catch-up effects are weak and not significant, and top performing regions deviate from the rest.
Chapter
This chapter analyzes the situation of young people in the Russian labour market in the context of local and global changes. Young people are one of the most vulnerable groups on the labour market worldwide, whose condition is characterized by high precarity, the prevalence of informal practices and high unemployment rates. We will analyze the involvement of young people in the Russian labour market, their career development and subjective satisfaction with their employment. We will also focus on informality as a resource for overcoming the limitations of the formal labour market and, at the same time, as a barrier for young people to get a ‘good job’. The empirical analysis is based on quantitative data collected in 2017 by researchers from the Centre for Youth Studies in four Russian regions: the Northwestern Federal District, Stavropol Territory, the Urals Federal District and the Far Eastern Federal District. Given the heterogeneity of the Russian labour market, the paper will also focus on regional differences in young people’s employment experiences.
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Rigid employment protection legislation (EPL) has been blamed as the root of youths’ labour market integration problems in Europe. Many European countries have reacted by deregulating employment protection laws, often targeting youths as a group. However, doubts about the effectiveness of EPL reforms have arisen. Against this background, this article investigates whether EPL reforms succeeded in integrating youths into labour markets or whether they were ineffective and just promoted temporary employment as a crucial new social inequality in Europe. Based on two-step, three-level analyses using micro-data from the European Labour Force Survey for 19 European countries for the period from 1992 to 2012, our results show that deregulating the use of temporary contracts increased temporary employment risks of youths but did not reduce (for low-educated young men, even increased) unemployment risks. In contrast, we find some evidence that decreasing the protection of permanent jobs was successful in decreasing risks of inequality/insecurity (in terms of temporary jobs) without affecting the risks of labour market exclusion.
Book
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Book
The expansion of the European Union (EU) has put an end to the East-West division of Europe. At the same time it has increased the cultural heterogeneity, social disparities and economic imbalances within the EU, exemplified in the lower living standards and higher unemployment rates in some of the new member states. This important new reference work describes the education systems, labour markets and welfare production regimes in the 10 new Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries. In three comparative chapters, discussing each of these domains in turn, the editors provide a set of theory-driven, comprehensive and informative indicators that allow comparisons and rankings within the new EU member states. Ten country-specific chapters follow, each written by experts from those countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. These chapters provide detailed information on each country’s education and training systems, labour market structure and regulations, and its provision of formal and informal welfare support. An important component of each country chapter is the explanation of the historical background and the specific national conditions for the institutional choices in the transitional years. The handbook provides policy makers with the tools to assess the institutional changes in CEE countries, and scholars with ways to apply the proposed indicators to their analytic research. It will be a vital resource that no major research library should be without.
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Discusses how the prevailing approach to `social' and `institutional' influences on labor markets become an obstacle to broader cross-disciplinary research at theoretical and empirical levels. Attempts by labor economists to deal with institutional and social influences on labor markets; Institutional nature of occupational labor markets; Implications.
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Educational opportunities, and the specific structures of educational systems, are as consequential for mobility in labor markets as are the attributes of the individuals who make careers in those markets. The conceptual and empirical challenge is to understand how individual and environmental factors interactively affect mobility processes. The argument is developed in three steps. First, a typology for the classification of educational systems is presented. According to this typology, educational systems can be distinguished along the criteria of 'standardization' (the provision of equal educational standards nationwide) and 'stratification' (the selection procedures within the systems). Second, general hypotheses are stated on how educational system characteristics shape labor market outcomes. With a stratified educational system, occupational status is closely determined by individual educational attainment; with an unstratified system, occupational status is less determined by educational attainment. On the other hand, with a standardized system, job changes occur less frequently than with an unstandardized system. Third, empirical evidence is provided. The educational systems of Norway, West Germany and the United States are evaluated according to the typology of standardization and stratification. The connection of educational system attributes and labor market outcomes is analyzed on the basis of retrospective life history data from the United States, Norway and West Germany.
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Although optimal labour market allocation of school leavers benefits individuals, employers and societies, a substantial part of European school leavers do not find a job that matches their field or level of education. This paper explores the extent to which horizontal and vertical education-to-job matches of European school leavers from secondary education is associated with the level of stratification, standardization, and the level of vocational orientation and institutional linkages of education systems. We combine notions of signalling theory, human capital theory and job matching theory to formulate hypotheses about how education systems affect horizontal and vertical education-to-job matches. We use micro-data on 30,805 school leavers in 20 European countries from the 2009 Ad Hoc Module of the European Labour Force Survey and data on system characteristics. Using multi-level logistic regression, we show that the level of stratification of secondary education is associated with better vertical job matches. We also find that the positive relation between being vocationally trained and education-to-job matches is stronger in systems with stronger institutional linkages. The positive relation between being vocationally trained and vertical job matches is less strong in more vocational oriented systems. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Keywords education-to-job matching, school-to-work transitions, educational systems, stratification, standardization, vocational orientation