The International Seminar "Transitions to adulthood in knowledge societies: present and future of young people with low educational levels". is closely linked to the project “Pathways from secondary education into employment: a biographic perspective”, financed in the framework of the National Plan for R+D+I (2010-2012). Its main aims are to disseminate the results of current research in the field of training and employment pathways of young people with a low level of education, as well as to strengthen relations with other research groups and with the different actors in the territorial area of the Balearic Islands.
The transition of young people to adulthood on the whole and, especially, as far as the transition from education to work has changed significantly These changes are found in the context of societies in transformation and in dialectical relationship with them. There are many social, economic and demographic changes and also researches have defined many concepts to explain and understand them. Among these, the terms knowledge society or economy are particularly pertinent according to the theme of the seminar. Both refer to the central role of science and technology and, therefore, of knowledge in the current economic and social model. We must also add other changes in all the areas of our personal and professional life, as a consubstantial part of our societies (changes in employment, in family situations, home…), as well as the growing social dualization, which most particularly harms the people with low educational level Although this situation has always been present in times of economic growth with the current economic crisis is manifested in a more intense and virulent way.
In this context, the level of qualification is more important and education plays a much more central role than in previous times. In studies on the transition of young people into adulthood, the disadvantage of young people with a low level of education is clearly documented when it comes to successfully carrying out the many complex tasks required by this, increasingly longer, period of life.
Although it is hugely complex to understand such a dynamic period based on indicators that are comparable at an international level, a recent study by the OECD (2010) provides relevant details concerning the characteristics of young people participation in employment and, especially, the population with the greatest difficulties in terms of employment. In this study, two types of trajectories are identified that are considered negative and which are called “youth left behind” and “poorly-integrated new entrants”, respectively. If we broadly consider the volume of young people in these trajectories that are considered negative or of risk, Spain can be observed to be the country in the European Union with the highest percentage, with over 35% of the total of young people, way above the European mean, which is around 17%. The rise in youth unemployment since the crisis in 2008 makes the situation even more difficult and almost certainly the number of young people in these categories, and particularly young people with a low level of education has risen. This and other recent research into the trajectories from education to employment for young people (Hango and Broucker, 2007; Kuehn, Pergamit, Macomber and Vericker, 2009; Quintini and Manfredi, 2009; Berzin, 2010) clearly reflect not only the disadvantages of young people with a low educational level in their process of transition into adulthood, but also the impact of the characteristics of education and training systems in these trajectories and the need to develop transition policies that will stimulate positive transitions.
In this context, the seminar “Transitions to adulthood in knowledge societies: present and future of young people with low educational levels” has the following main aims:
To raise awareness and debate the results of current research in the field of training and employment itineraries for young people with a low level of education.
To strengthen relations with other research groups in the field of transitions of young people with a low level of education.
To strengthen joint lines of work between the different actors in the territorial area of the Balearic Islands.
Dra. Francesca Salvà Mut
Chair Scientific and organising committee
Berzin, S.C. (2010). Vulnerability in the transition to adulthood: Defining risk base don youth profiles. Children and Youth Review, 32 (2010), 487-495.
Hango, D. W., De Broucker, P. (2007). Education-to-labour market pathways of canadian youth. Findings from the youth in transition survey. Statistics Canada. Culture,Tourism and the Center for Education Statistics& Canadian Policy Research Networks.
Kuehn, D. ; Pergamit, M. ; Macomber, J ; Vericker, T. (2009). Vulnerable Youth and the Transition to Adulthood. ASPE Research Brief. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Office of Human Services Policy. U.S Department of Health and Human Services. July 2009.
OECD (2010). Off to a Good Start? Jobs for Youth. OECD Publishing.
Quintini, G., & Manfredi,T. (2009). Going Separate Ways? School-to-Work Transitions in the United States and Europe. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, 2009, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Project funded by Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, ref. EDU2011-15327-E and EDU2009-13312
Universitat de les Illes Balears
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