Special Issue "School-to-Work Transition of At-Risk Youth during Crisis and Distress"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760). This special issue belongs to the section "Social Stratification and Inequality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2023 | Viewed by 458

Special Issue Editors

Department of Education and Psychology, University of Florence, 50121 Florence, FI, Italy
Interests: intercultural education; comparative pedagogy; social pedagogy; gender anthropology; processes of inclusion/exclusion; equal opportunities; integration of migrants into the education system and into society; the migration of women; immigration and asylum policy; the dynamics of racism; trafficking in human beings; unaccompanied minors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Special Education Center of Bahia (CEEBA), 40170155 Salvador, Brazil
Interests: education; diversity; special and inclusive education; intellectual disability; professional education
Department of Education and Social Psychology, University Pablo de Olavide, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
Interests: social, cultural and gender analysis of migrations; gender and equality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For children everywhere, the passage to adulthood represents an exciting time, filled with promise. However, completing school can be a challenging life phase, especially for some categories of students. 

Moving from education to what should be productive and decent work opportunities that make effective use of the youth’s acquired skills, allowing professional and personal fulfillment, may be a difficult path. Obstacles come from different causes: firstly, the local and national realities—our global world is characterized by extraordinary inequalities among countries in terms of income and economic environment— shape the opportunities on offer. Secondly, class position, gender, ethnic origin and personal conditions (as for example disabilities) have a lasting impact on young people’s lives and labour market prospects.

The school-to-work process can be broken down into different moments. In the first place, the role of the education system must be considered. There again there are inequalities in school attendance by students and, of course, of the resources put into the processes of giving young people access to the knowledge, competencies, attitudes and qualifications that will allow them to find their place both in society and in an evolving economy. In particular the school-to-work transition can be prepared through various measures like on-the-job training, apprenticeships, cooperative education agreements or other programs designed to prepare students to enter the job market. The quality of these programs depend on resources.

Looking for international standards, the International Labour Office defines a successful transition to work as being when a young person is settled into stable employment. This is defined in turn as a job with an employment contract, written or verbal, lasting for 12 or more months or, for those who do not have long-term wage employment, a job with a self-perception of continuity [1]. As, in many countries, the majority of young people will be employed in the informal sector, they may not achieve this definition of stable employment.

This Special Issue aims to investigate different situations of transition from school to work for disadvantaged young people or those that are considered “at risk” owing to low-income environment, ethnicity, disabilities and learning difficulties, taking into account varied traits and learning experiences and articulating this with the countries’ different education models and economic structures. A “crisis” component will of course be taken into account (including the COVID-19 crisis, that was catastrophic for young people education and transition to work).

We suggest the use of the concept of intersectionality—class, race, gender—to understand how inequalities in the opportunities that are offered to young people during the transition school to work are reproduced and multiplied. Special attention should be given to school–work transition policies aimed at improving the employability of young populations that work in low-skilled occupations, especially after crisis situations. Gender inequalities and their influence on training, expectations and labor insertion should also be addressed.

Approaches may vary, with some focusing more on the school programs or others on the issue of employability. We insist on the importance of having experiences from the Global North—or the West—and South. We have already mentioned the issue of the informal economy, representing the only possibility for young people from lower classes. Articles that propose possible models for improving the situation are welcomed. Among the theoretical references for the call, we are inspired by Paulo Freire’s theory of popular education, an intellectual tradition of political pedagogy. The basic thrust of popular education, as Freire articulates it, is to “make oppression and its causes objects of reflection by the oppressed,” and by others who join with the oppressed in solidarity [2]. Freire argues that oppressed persons can and should act as full-fledged subjects in analyzing and transforming their conditions of subordination, in conjunction with other people who may not share their specific circumstances of oppression but who still are affected by widely encircling dynamics of domination. This experience also concerns the transition from school to work.


[1] https://ilostat.ilo.org/transition-from-school-to-work-remains-a-difficult-process-for-youth/

[2] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0090591720985770#fn4-0090591720985770.

Prof. Dr. Giovanna Campani
Dr. Anderson Spavier Alves
Dr. Teresa Terrón-Caro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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Access to Labor Market and Integration of Moroccan Women in Andalusia: The Two Sides of the Coin
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(10), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12100534 - 24 Sep 2023
Given the multifactorial nature of the integration processes of migrants, this article analyzes the correlation between inclusion in the labor market and the integration of Moroccan women residing in Andalusia. An intersectional approach is used, addressing three key variables: youth, gender, and ethnicity. [...] Read more.
Given the multifactorial nature of the integration processes of migrants, this article analyzes the correlation between inclusion in the labor market and the integration of Moroccan women residing in Andalusia. An intersectional approach is used, addressing three key variables: youth, gender, and ethnicity. To this end, a qualitative methodology has been developed based on conducting twenty-nine in-depth interviews with Moroccan women residing in Andalusia. Non-probabilistic intentional sampling has been used through the snowball technique. The results have shown the ambivalence that insertion in the labor market implies for these women, being, on the one hand, an area of oppression, rejection, and discrimination, and on the other, one of the essential factors to achieve the full integration of the protagonists, granting them agency and resistance. It concludes by highlighting the importance of favoring the successful transition and inclusion in the labor market of these women, being fundamental to the development of strategies and political proposals aimed at reducing, even eliminating, the structural violence that continues to prevail in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue School-to-Work Transition of At-Risk Youth during Crisis and Distress)
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