European unification represents major challenges to national institutional frameworks as well as significant pressures for institutional convergence. So far, labour markets have actually seen relatively little convergence, and national institutions have remained highly distinct. Against this background, this book provides an encompassing comparative analysis of school-to-work transitions in EU member states. It shows how differences in both European education and training systems, as well as labour market institutions, generated significant variation in the experiences of young people entering European labour markets during the 1990s. This book compiles an integrated series of comparative empirical analyses of education-to-work transitions across the EU by drawing an the European Labour Force Surveys. Individual chapters describe the educational background of young people entering the labour market, address the scope of educational expansion in recent decades, and chart basic structures of transition processes in European labour markets. Chapters not only examine the rode of education for successful labour market integration, but also the impact of macroeconomic, structural, and institutional factors an young people's chances of avoiding unemployment and obtaining employment in occupations appropriate to their education and training. From these analyses it becomes apparent that the structure of education and training systems is the key institutional factor behind successful youth labour market integration. At the level of intermediate skills, dual systems oftraining have retained their advantages in terms of reduced youth unemployment. High levels of education still constitute a key asset, since, despite significant educational expansion in recent decades, devaluation trends have been limited. As youth labour markets are found to be particularly responsive to macroeconomic conditions, however, macroeconomic stability turns out to be an equally important predicament regarding successful youth labour market integration, in particular among those with low levels of education.
Thomas Couppié is senior researcher at CEREQ, the French Centre for Research on Education, Training and Employment.
Markus Gangl is senior research fellow in the Research Unit Labour Market Policy and Employment at the Social Science Research Centre Berlin.
Cristina Iannelli is research fellow at the Centre for Educational Sociology in the University of Edinburgh.
Walter Müller is director of the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research and Professor of Sociology at the University of Mannheim.
Michèle Mansuy is senior researcher at INSEE, the French National Statistical Office. She is co-ordinator for the Southeast regional area.
David Raffe is professor of sociology of education and director of research at the School of Education of the University of Edinburgh.
Asunción Soro-Bonmatí is visiting Professor at the Department of Economic Analysis of the University of Alicante and external researcher at the Valencian Institute for Economic Research, Spain.
Rolf van der Velden is chief researcher at the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market, an institute attached to the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the Maastricht University.
Maarten Wolbers is senior researcher at the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market, Maastricht University.