Characterizing the school-to-work transitions of young men and women: Evidence from the ILO School-to-work transition surveys

Makiko Matsumoto and Sara Elder
International Labour Organization
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Given that (1) current restrictions in labour market information have led to a situation in which we have not yet satisfactorily answered the question of why the school-to-work transition of young people today is proving to be more difficult than for previous generations of youth; and that (2) improving the transition figures heavily among the policy agendas of a growing number of countries, the ILO developed the school-to-work transition survey (SWTS). (See section 2.1.) In other words, the SWTS was developed in an attempt to meet the demand for alternative information sources. Exploring some of the reasons why transitions are difficult help us to narrow down the range of immediate and longer term policy actions needed to facilitate young people’s transition.

The aim of this report is to demonstrate the depth of data made available with the SWTS tool and to showcase the unique schema for classifying transitions, one which adds greater meaning for policymakers who note the insufficiency of traditional labour market indicators when attempting to discern youth employment challenges.

This report looks at the results of surveys run in Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Iran, Kosovo7, Mongolia, Nepal and Syria.8 The authors concentrated almost exclusively on exploring the raw survey data that had been systematically cleaned. In this regard, there are some discrepancies between the tabulated data presented here and what appears in the country reports prepared with each SWTS run (see Appendix 1 for details on past survey runs and their accompanying reports). The slight discrepancies in numbers presented here against those in country reports, do not invalidate the key messages and conclusions of the latter. This paper adds to the SWTS literature, through further exploration of different definitions and through systematic analysis across countries on a number of key labour market issues.

Workforce Development
Monitoring & Evaluation
Asia, Southeast Asia, & the Pacific
Europe & Central Asia
Middle East & North Africa
Economic Empowerment
Governance & Policy
Market Development
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