chapter  9
18 Pages

Challenging transitions from school to work


In Canada, as in other industrialized countries, educational policy makers are interested in facilitating high school students’ transitions to work. The finding that the duration of youth transitions from high school to work increased between 1990 and 1996 across 15 OECD countries has raised concern (OECD 2000). Traditional pathways into adulthood have become more complicated as changes in the global economy affect national and regional labour markets (Krahn and Hudson 2006). More youth spend more time in formal education and delay their entry into the adult labour market as demand for post-secondary education (PSE) credentials increases. Further, a lack of transparency of career pathways is seen as contributing to more extended youth transitions. A common response from ministries of education across Canada has been the introduction of school-work transition (SWT) policies that aim to develop young people’s ‘employability skills’ and clarify their career pathways (Taylor and Lehmann 2003; Lackey 2004).