Youth, Diversity and Employment
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Youth, Diversity and Employment

Comparative Perspectives on Labour Market Policies

Edited by Rune Halvorsen and Bjørn Hvinden

Including youth in the labour market is a major challenge facing many European countries. This book examines the transitions from education to employment with a focus on Nordic youth in the broader European context. The book combines insights from the social sciences and law by linking the challenges facing young people in general and the more specific barriers facing the more vulnerable groups of young people. Youth, Diversity and Employment provides original insights on the interdependencies or interaction between redistributive and regulatory social policies.
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Chapter 4: Early school leaving and labour market inclusion in the Nordic countries

Olof Bäckman, Vibeke Jakobsen, Thomas Lorentzen and Eva Österbacka


Existing research on labour market entry has largely ignored the consequences of the different ways in which upper secondary education is organized. This chapter contributes to rectifying this gap by evaluating whether prospects for labour market inclusion among vocational school dropouts differ depending on the type of programme from which they drop out, that is, on whether they dropped out from a vocational track that included extensive workplace-based training or from a school-based vocational track. The chapter tests hypotheses derived from theories on signalling effects of education and labour market rigidity. In Norway and Sweden, female vocational school dropouts fare worse than their male peers. The data demonstrate no firm evidence that the signalling effect of education can explain much of the between-country variations in opportunities in the labour market, and it is not possible to draw conclusions about the effect of labour market rigidity in the Nordic countries.

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