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School-to-Work Transition & Skill Development

At ages 12-24, most youth transition from school to work. While this transition occurs earlier for some youth than for others, finding work is challenging for many youth. They may lack the appropriate skills demanded by the modern economy or confront labor market rigidities. For youth who have dropped out of school or are stuck in unemployment what are the factors influencing these outcomes? Programs that provide support to youth in their transition to work include technical and vocational education and training (TVET)employability training, programs targeting at risk youth and life long learning. Further policy questions are what should be the role of training and how should the government approach it? What are the special training considerations for youth related to the informal sector?


The Role of Youth Skills Development in the Transition to Work: A Global Review (185kb pdf)
Arvil V. Adams
August 2006

A substantial literature has emerged around these investments in skills development evaluating their impact on the youth transition and labor market outcomes. This paper sets out to review the literature in advanced and developing countries and assess the impact of TVET on the transition to work. The focus is on efficiency criteria (pay and employment) in evaluating the transition. The review assesses whether the benefits of pay and employment exceed the cost of TVET provision. Where these criteria are not met, however, conditions may still favor investment in TVET on the basis of equity criteria.  Programs for the disadvantaged, for example, may yield positive benefits, but less than their social cost. The distributional effects may justify investment.

Factors Impacting Youth Development in Haiti (466kb pdf)
World Bank Policy Research Paper No. 4110
Michael Justesen and Dorte Verner
January 2007

Of the 1.6 million Haitian youth aged 15-24, only 13 percent are content with their lives. More than half of 20-year-olds have not completed secondary education and nearly half of youth in the labor market are unemployed. This paper investigates protective and risk factors predisposing youth to positive and negative behaviors. These factors, including poverty, gender, education, labor market, migration, family, health, and violence, are examined by using statistics and probability models based on Haiti's first household living conditions survey. Key findings show that female youth need special attention because they are more likely than their male peers to drop out of school and to be unemployed or inactive. Role models, guidance, expectations, and contacts in the form of parents or household heads are decisive factors in keeping youth in school, and to some extent, in their finding employment. In addition, domestic migration has a negative impact on the probability of being unemployed or inactive (positive self-selection), while marriage, drug abuse, and domestic violence increase the probability of dropping out of school.

Youth in the Labor Market and the Transition from School to Work in Tanzania (273kb pdf)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0606
Florence Kondylis and Marco Manacorda
June 2006

Although the authors are not the first to document the level of youth joblessness in Tanzania, this paper aims to shed some additional light on this phenomenon. First, the authors provide evidence on different dimensions of youths' labor market performance. For this exercise the authors rely on micro data from the Tanzanian Integrated Labor Force Survey (ILFS) of 2000/01, a rather large household survey (approximately 11,000 households) that provides a rich array of information on employment, job search, schooling, training, and migration, together with basic information on individuals' and their households' characteristics. Second, the authors attempt to uncover the determinants of youths' labor market outcomes and to tease out significant predictors of labor market success and failure using simple regression tools.

School-to-Work Transition and Youth Inclusion in Georgia
World Bank
Furio Rosati, Zeynep Özbil, Diana Marginean
March 2006

This paper represents a starting point for more detailed analysis of youth labor market status in Georgia. It analyzes the composition, timing and duration of the school-to-work transition and, based on this analysis, offers policy recommendations to address the challenges of this transition.

Youth Unemployment, Labor Market Transitions, and Scarring: Evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2001-04
World Bank WPS No. 4183
Erwin R. Tiongson and Jean Fares
April 2007

Relatively little is known about youth unemployment and its lasting consequences in transition economies, despite the difficult labor market adjustment experienced by these countries over the past decade. The authors examine early unemployment spells and their longer-term effects among the youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), where the labor market transition is made more difficult by the challenges of a post-conflict environment. They use panel data covering up to 4,800 working-age individuals over the 2001 to 2004 period.

Skills Development in Sub-Saharan Africa (1.46mb pdf)
World Bank Study
Richard K. Johanson and Arvil V. Adams
January 2004

The review addresses a list of questions that seem especially pertinent for skills development in Sub-Saharan Africa today, namely: What should be the role of training when there is not enough modern sector employment? Given the widespread decay in public training systems, what should be the role of the public sector in training? Are private training providers more cost-effective than public sector training providers? What is the capacity of private training providers to fill the gap left by declining public investment in training? What is the relative importance of training within enterprises and does the state need to intervene to stimulate it? In view of shortages of public financing, how can needed skills development be financed? What role can financing mechanisms play in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of training? Answers to these questions and others developed in each chapter are pursued by looking over the past decade at the structure of employment and the demand for skills; the experience of government and non-government providers of skills training, including enterprises; and the experience with financing of TVET and resource management. The findings yield a clear, strategic role for governments to play in skills development while deepening sector reforms. The actions, if taken, promise to support achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for poverty reduction and Education for All.


Turkey - Knowledge Economy and Innovation Project Information Document

Chile - Lifelong Learning and Training Project Appraisal Document

This project will assist the Government of Chile in laying the foundation for an articulated, and extended learning, and training system, with the participation of the private sector.

Improving Employability for At-Risk Youth: The Dominican Republic’s Youth Development Project
World Bank Youth Development Notes, Vol. 1, No. 7, June 2006

Honduras - Concept Note for Impact Evaluation of the First Employment Pilot Program for Youth at Risk (44kb pdf)

Honduras - Trade Facilitation and Productivity Enhancement Project Appraisal Document

The development objective of the this project is to increase the productivity of the Honduran private sector, thereby improving Honduras' competitiveness and economic growth, including improving the skills of the labor force.

India - Andhra Pradesh Rural Poverty Reduction Project Appraisal Document

This project supports the Government of Andhra Pradesh's ongoing long-term Rural Poverty Reduction Program, which aims to eradicate poverty; promote human capital development; focus on the welfare of children, particularly girls, women, the old, and the infirm; and build an equitable society in which people participate in making decisions which affect their lives and livelihoods.

Mozambique - Technical and Vocational Education and Training Project Appraisal Document

This project will facilitate the transition of the existing TVET system to a demand-led training system and provide beneficiaries with more market relevant skills and improved economic opportunities.

Poland - Hard Coal Social Mitigation Project Appraisal Document

A major pillar of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) is enhancing private sector-led growth, and employment creation, through enterprise restructuring. Support for coal sector reform was included as a priority within that pillar, which includes the following assessment: "The Bank will assist Poland's enterprise restructuring plans primarily through continuation of the assistance to the coal reform program, begun in 1999."


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