The transition from school to work is among the key topics of current social research and policy interests as it touches upon the core issue of youth labour market integration in different European countries, exhibiting a wide range of institutional structures and macroeconomic context conditions. It has also been one of the most challenging areas of study because of the data constraints and particularly the effective lack of adequate, accessible and comparative longitudinal data. This situation has improved with the introduction of the European Union Labour Force Survey (EULFS) 2000 ad hoc module on transitions from school-to-work, which combines the virtues of large-scale Labour Force Surveys with special topical information on school-to-work transitions. That is, by providing an add-on to the regular LFS surveys, the ad hoc module allows to generate a certain amount of more particular and in part even longitudinal information on transition processes in about 20 European countries, otherwise unavailable at the European level. A particular value of the ad hoc module is that it adds significant detail with respect to educational attainment and careers by providing measures of level and type of education at leaving the educational system for the first time. Second, the module adds a longitudinal perspective on individual employment careers by providing measures of the incidence of job search periods, job search duration, duration of first job, and occupation of first job, which allow assessing some features of labour market dynamics at the early career stages. Finally, the module has some information on social background, so that for the first time, the effects of this variable can also be analysed from the LFS data.
Markus Gangl is Senior Research Fellow in the Research Unit 'Labour market policy and employment' at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung. His main research interests are in the analysis of life courses and the dynamics of labour markets, in particular with respect to unemployment, income and poverty dynamics. His work closely relates to concerns of social policy and economic sociology, and reflects the growing linkages between microsociological and microeconomic analyses of labour market behaviour. Accompanying these substantive interests, Gangl also works on developing statistical methods of causal analysis with longitudinal data.
Cristina Iannelli is Research Fellow in the Centre for Educational Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. Her main research interests include educational transitions and transitions from school to the labour market in comparative perspective, track differentiation in education and social inequalities in educational attainment and occupational prospects of young people. Her work is principally based on quantitative data analysis.
Frank Kalter is "wissenschaftlicher Assistent" at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Mannheim. His research interests include residential mobility, migration and ethnic relations, sociology of the family, rational choice theory, and methods. Currently, he is conducting several research projects on immigrants' structural assimilation at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES).
Irena Kogan is research fellow in the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), University of Mannheim. She is currently involved in a research project on " Integration of Immigrants in the EU countries". Her main research interests include immigration and ethnicity, social stratification and inequality in international comparison.
Walter Müller is professor of sociology at the University of Mannheim and director of the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES). His main research interest lies in the comparative analysis of social structures of modern societies and his publications include several books and numerous articles on social stratification, labour market developments, and on the role of education for job allocation and for patterns of social mobility in industrial nations. He is currently directing a number of comparative projects including "Educational expansion and social reproduction in Europe" and "Socio-economic development of self-employment in Europe".
Emer Smyth is a Senior Research Officer with the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin. Her research interests centre on school to work transitions, gender and the labour market, and school organisation and process.
Maarten Wolbers is Senior Researcher at the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), Maastricht University. He is project manager of a large-scale annual survey among school-leavers from secondary education (the RUBS survey). His main research interests include social stratification and school-to-work transitions.