Posts Tagged ‘Transitions’

Details of Youth Social Work in the Vocational Preparation Year

Written by AP on . Posted in Evaluation of Youth Social Work in the Vocational Preparation Year

Monitoring and evaluation of youth social work at a vocational school

From 2001 to 2004, IRIS has been in charge of the evaluation of an innovative approach to support young people during their compulsory vocational year (“BVJ – Berufsvorbereitungsjahr” in German).

The evaluation was based on two main pillars:

  • the formative evaluation of the process of implementation of this new type of social service
  • a longitudinal study on the processes of social integration of the students of the vocational preparation year in their transitions.

The particular focus of this project was on how to seamlessly integrate the research part into the development of the practical work. Therefore, the youth social workers were involved in all steps of the research, from the design of the study to the daily practice of data collection and interpretation.

Contact at IRIS: Friedemann Bär and Ralf Nuglisch

Equal opportunities in transitions

Written by AP on . Posted in Network Equal Opportunities in Transitions

“Equal opportunities for young men and young women who are in transition from school to work as a political strategy and concept in the establishment of local networks for employment”

Duration of the project: January 2001 – September 2002


The project aimed at improving local networks for employment that provide transitions to work for young women and men in a way that they become aware for gender-specific needs and trajectories. The network approach was analysed and developed with regard to gender issues.
Existing networks were enabled to act more effectively by supporting the communication (e.g. by identifying and tackling communication barriers) between local actors as well as by supporting a gender oriented approach and network structure.
One important goal was to obtain a comparable knowledge about three European regions and their implementation of gender perspectives in local networks, as well as the identification of success criteria in networks in respect to gender issues and equal opportunities for young men and women. A main focus was also put on organisations in the third sector which work in the field of job creation and support of employability with very different partners on a local/regional level.

Our partner organisations in other European countries were:

  • GENESIS, Emilia Romagna, Italy
  • AREA, Valencia, Spain

Objectives of the project

The main objective of the project was to detect details about the chances and obstacles concerning the transfer of “equal-opportunity-standards” into the establishment process of local networks for employment which support (disadvantaged) young women and men in their transition to work.

Other (more specific) objectives were:

  • The detection of the preconditions for an effective unification of all local female and male experts within a selected local context.
  • The exploration of decision making instruments integrating gender perspectives in cooperation with the local actors.
  • The development of a working structure and strategy which included a moderating and coordinating authority together with the local actors.
  • The creation of awareness among the network members concerning gender issues.
  • The development of learning strategies for the network-members considering gender perspectives.
  • The detection of main areas of cooperation between relevant local actors and 3rd sector initiatives that have a specific role in the field of job creation and employability.

Work packages

  • The definition of standards for networks that integrate gender issues in their work and that promote equal opportunities for young men and women from a scientific point of view.
  • The development of a common questionnaire for all three regions for the investigation.
  • The identification of key situations which make a successful support for young people and promote equal opportunities for young women and men.
  • The identification of success criteria in best practice networks.
  • The evaluation of the material for each region, a comparison of the results which took into consideration social policy structures of each region.


The three partner organisations defined standards for the establishment of local networks for employment with respect to gender mainstreaming and got a first overview on the situation in networks in their region.

At a first transnational meeting we evaluated the first steps and developed a questionnaire that allowed a deeper investigation of success criteria and the hypothesis that we had found after a first short investigation.

Success criteria of best practice networks were identified by interviewing selected network experts, in group discussions in the networks and by questionnaires.

In a second transnational meeting we collected the results and discussed the success criteria and obstacles in each region by taking into consideration the specific regional structure and history situation and different social policies.

We finally developed common political guidelines for the establishment of gender issues and equal opportunity criteria in local networks for employment.

All three partners organised workshops for their partner networks in each region and presented and discussed the results with them.

The project ended with a presentation of our results in Bruxelles.

Documentation of results

The results were documented in separated reports for each region as well as in a comprehensive report as a kind of synopsis for all three regions.

For the german region we developed a handout with guidelines that gives local networks for employment orientation and support on how to develop an approach that is sensitive for gender issues and equal opportunities for young men and women ins transition to work. It was written for political experts and organisations (especially organisations in the third sector) that promote employment and education as well as for their partners.

Your contact at IRIS: Sabine Riescher

The European research project FATE

Written by AP on . Posted in Families and Transitions in Europe

Comparative analysis on the changed role of the family against the background of longer and more complicated transitions of young women and men into work an economic independency.
The ‘Families and Transitions in Europe’ research project has been funded under the Improving the Human Potential key action of the European Commissions Fifth Framework Programme. It was developed and carried out in the framework of the European research network EGRIS and has been coordinated by the School of Policy Studies at the University of Ulster (Andy Biggart).

In the light of rapid socio-economic change, young people are becoming increasingly dependent on their families for a protracted period of time. The aim of the project was to examine the families role in facilitating or constraining active life management in the transition from education to the labour market, across different European models of State support for young people and their families.
FATE was a comparative research project, involving partners from nine European countries resp. regions (Bulgaria, Danmark, Germany East and West, United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain). It has explored how families deal with changing dependencies within youth and young adulthood, which strategies they develop and to which extent the availability of family resources impact on decision making processes of young women and men. To answer these questions, a comprehensive approach is necessary, which takes into account structural, institutional, cultural and subjective aspects.

The first phase gave an overview over structural and institutional factors of transitions by secondary analysis. The second phase consisted of a questionnaire among young people at the end of their educational transitions, generating data on their living arrangements and on their attitudes concerning education, work, dependency and family relationships. The third and most important phase of the project has been on the one hand qualitative interviews with young women and men regarding family support and the influence this support has on their transition-related decisions. On the other hand, interviews with one or both parents of these young people have been carried out. The content analysis of these semi-structured interviews followed a common thread of codes in order to facilitate the international comparison.

The study provided insights into two issues which are both central for social integration, but which up to now hardly have been analysed as interrelated: Family and Transitions of young women and men into work. Country-related as well as comparative reports have been elaborated, on national structures, on patterns of dependency and support, and above all on the ways, both generations evaluate this situation. Results have been published in the respective countries and made available for different target groups, such as policy makers, practitioners, and the scientific community. Results have been presented on a European Seminar (the European Observatory on Family), and on various national conferences.

Contact at IRIS: Jutta Goltz, Barbara Stauber, Andreas Walther

Young People and Transition Policies in Europe

Written by AP on . Posted in Young People and Transition Policies in Europe

Cover Madrid-Buch

European Conference for researchers, policy-makers and practitioners on the experiences of young people with support measures for transitions to work, 6-8 June 2002 in Madrid.

From 6 to 8 June 2002 IRIS together with AREA (Asociácion Regional y Europea de Análisis, Valencia) and in collaboration with the Spanish Youth Institute organised a European conference on “Young People and Transition Policies in Europe”. The conference addressed policy makers, institutional representatives and researchers.

The project started from the observation that existing policies struggle with addressing transition related risks of social exclusion effectively. High shares of dropping out and ‘status zer0’ youth withdrawing from formal transition agencies, and of those who are unemployed after participating in training or employment schemes stand for ‘misleading trajectories’: integration policies reproducing exclusion instead. Although focussing different aspects of youth transitions and transition policies the selected projects shared a holistic perspective aiming at integrating systemic and subjective dimensions of social integration; this means matching with changing labour markets as well as meeting young people’s subjective needs and satisfaction. Under conditions of de-standardised transitions the compartmentalisation of transition related policies – education, training, labour market policies, welfare, youth policy – tends to reinforce structures of selectivity and segmentation contributing to social inequality according to education and social background, gender, and ethnicity. The concept of Integrated Transition Policies, one of the joint concepts referred to, aims at a coordination of policies in a biographical perspective which reflects the specificity of individual cases and allow for the active participation of young people as actors of their transitions.

The discussions during the conference centred around policy dilemmas arising from  the research presentations such as the contradictions between competence and employability or between flexibility and security, questions how to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged without stigmatising them and also how to assess the effects of transition policies which includes the question for success criteria which are more comprehensive than counting participants placed in (some) jobs after a scheme.

All participants confirmed that the conference provided a unique opportunity of dialogue between research and policy taking place in a friendly and collaborative atmosphere. A book publication containing the conference proceedings has been published with the Policy Press (López Blasco, A., McNeish, W. & Walther, A. (eds.) (2003) Contradictions of Inclusion: Young People and Policies for Transitions to Work across Europe. Bristol: Policy Press).

Cover Pohl-Schneider 2000

1999-2000 Dead end streets…

Written by AP on . Posted in Projects on Transitions before 2000

“Sackgassen – Umleitungen – Überholspuren?” – Risks of exclusion and new perspectives in transitions to work

Transnational Knowledge Transfer Project

I. Objectives

This project aimed at improving the situation of young people in their transitions to work by furthering the dialogue between research, practice and policy-making. For this aim, regional conferences were held in four European partner regions to discuss the outcomes of the TSER-funded research network “Misleading Trajectories”).

In Baden-Württemberg there were the following events held:

  • a regional symposium on 20.10.99 in Hohenwart/Pforzheim
  • a further training seminar for pratitioners in the field of transitions to work

II. Partners

The parters within the four regions were:

  1. LIBRA, Cooperativa Sociale di Intervento e Ricerca, Ravenna, Italy
  2. Hope Street, International Arts, Training and Development, Liverpool, UK
  3. AREA (Asociación Regional y Europea de Análisis), Valencia, Spain
  4. IRIS (Institut für regionale Innovation und Sozialforschung) e.V., Tübingen, Germany

II. Project staff at IRIS

Axel Pohl, Sabine Schneider, Barbara Stauber, Andreas Walther

With support from the European Commission’s programme on “Measures to combat social exclusion”

Buchcover "Misleading Trajectories?"

Details on Misleading Trajectories

Written by AP on . Posted in Misleading Trajectories

Misleading Trajectories CoverEvaluation of employment policies for young adults in Europe regarding non-intended effects of social exclusion.

Financed by the European Commission under the 4th Framework Programme for Research, Technology, and Demonstration, “Targeted Socio-Economic Research” (TSER, Area III.4), carried out through EGRIS, coordinated by IRIS e.V.

Duration: 1998-2001

The thematic network ‘Misleading Trajectories’ has been concerned with the traps of social exclusion within policies addressing young people’s transitions to work (school, vocational training, careers advice, social security, labour market programmes). The network (involving Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain) began from the observation that many policies that are intended to ‘lead’ towards gainful employment, adult status and social integration, are in fact ‘misleading’ in terms of:

  • reducing social integration to labour market integration, thus neglecting young adults’ subjective perspectives and leading to a “waste” of motivation;
  • not considering the change of labour societies and reducing the “mismatch” between supply and demand to an individualised “pedagogisation” of labour market problems.

Theoretically misleading trajectories stand for the increasing discrepancy between social integration and systems’ integration. Institutions increasingly fail in understanding, addressing and solving the complexities and contradictions of social integration in general and individual life course transitions in particular.

One of the core objectives has been to sketch a framework of Integration Transition Policies for young adults in Europe.

Walther, Andreas, Stauber, Barbara et al. (eds.) Misleading Trajectories. Integration Policies for Young Adults in Europe? Opladen: Leske+Budrich.

1998-2000 Third Sector

Written by AP on . Posted in Projects on Transitions before 2000

“Advising local networks of 3rd sector initiatives – job creation for (disadvantaged) young people in the area of social and youth services”

An international project

Duration: 1998 – 2000

The Project „Advising local networks of 3rd sector initiatives: job creation for (disadvantaged) young people in the area of social and youth services”, funded under the EU „Third System & Employment Pilot Action” identified – by transnational comparison between the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, and Germany – potentials for employing young people within third sector institutions. In a second step, these institutions have been supported to set their potential role as job provider into practice – by applying tools for self-evaluation, and by creating local networks.

Project partners:
1. GENESIS srl, Bologna, Italy
2. Hope Street, International Arts, Training and Development, Liverpool, UK
3. University College Cork (UCC): Department for Applied Social Sciences, Cork, Ireland
4. IRIS (Institut für regionale Innovation und Sozialforschung) e.V., Tübingen, Bundesrepublik Deutschland


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