Youth transitions

Today’s young people face significant uncertainty during their life course and are in a more vulnerable position compared to previous generations. In particular, youths and young adults face several challenges in the transition from childhood to adulthood (i.e. from dependence to independence) or from school to work. These transitions are embedded within, shaped and influenced by a complex network of relationships and social and economic structures that constrain and/or enable youths’ opportunities.

The ‘Youth Transitions’ working group seeks to better understand the different processes that make up youth transitions (be they school-to-work, family or housing transitions) and the associated issues they produce. Therefore, much of the working group’s focus lies in understanding and analyzing the functions of education and the relationship between education and the youth labour market (i.e. skills ecology). Furthermore, issues connected to youth transitions such as social and educational inequalities, young people’s agency and the impact of de-standardised life courses are also of interest to the group.

Strongly related to our network’s interests, we seek to explore research questions such as:

  • How are current macro-social changes affecting post-compulsory education transitions? With what impacts on the development and implementation of policies for lifelong learning at the global, national and local levels?
  • How do dominant policy narratives frame youth and youth transitions and with what consequences for institutions, social structures and the lives of young people?
  • How do policies aimed at managing young people’s transitions (e.g. apprenticeships, WBL, employability schemes etc.) function and with what outcomes? 
  • How do young people and young adults navigate transitions between formal and informal education, between different contexts and in times of increased uncertainty? How do these transitions vary between different young people and with what implications for social inequalities?