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Title: The school to work transition of young people in Malta : results of a study among young people looking for work
Authors: Gatt, Suzanne
Gatt, Kevin
Keywords: Career development -- Malta
School-to-work transition -- Malta
Education -- Aims and objectives -- Malta
Career education -- Malta
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Employment and Training Corporation
Citation: Gatt, S., & Gatt, K. (2006). The school to work transition of young people in Malta: results of a study among young people looking for work. Malta: Employment and Training Corporation.
Abstract: Background The 1990s have seen the percentage of gainfully employed youths drop to a level of 49.6%. This drop must be seen in the context of the increasing number of young people pursuing post-secondary education complemented by the rise in the unemployment rate of young people. Youth unemployment in Malta has risen these past years. In view of this problem government advocates that educational attainment must be sustained and improved upon by addressing the skills shortages particularly in the I.T. and construction industry, certain professions as well as in the middle management sector. Youth unemployment is also a problem within the EU. It is the EU’s policy to upgrade labour skills and support in order to offer low-skilled workers a route out of unemployment an to reach the Lisbon targets. Objectives The project commissioned by the ETC focuses on how youths experience the school to work transition. It aims to : • review the opportunities available to youths in their transition from education to work; • identify the main factors that influence job aspirations and choices; • evaluate the adequacy of training available for the jobs on offer; and • identify programmes which can make the school to work transition smoother. Methods The project methodology involves collection of data in different forms from different players. It consisted of: a literature review on the school to work transition; an analysis of the tracer studies done by the Education Division over a ten year period; interviews with key players in post-secondary education; focus group interviews with youths at different points and paths of their school to work transition; interviews with employers and a survey with 500 youths who have undergone the school to work transition. The study was carried out during the period 2001- 2003. The main findings There were a number of significant findings with respect to the school to work transition in Malta. The main findings were the following: • The type of secondary school that a young person attends will determine to a great degree the type of path followed. Both from the tracer studies and the questionnaire it was found that those students in Area Secondary school tend to stop at compulsory education, moving to factory or elementary types of jobs. Many of them end their education without any qualifications. Students in Junior Lyceum, Church and Independent schools had a greater chance to continue with post-secondary Education; • The provision of guidance in secondary schools tends to be biased towards the academic path. The different sources of data collected show that often guidance teachers are concerned with the subjects that students choose and often assume that all the students intend to follow the general education path. Secondary students get very little information about the opportunities within the vocational postsecondary system and how the different apprenticeship schemes work. Preparation for the actual world of work is very little; • Schools are still detached from the world of work. Young persons are not learning how to deal with situations that may arise when at work and how to face them and so they feel vulnerable when they start working, ending up either being too aggressive or else allowing their employers and/or colleagues to take advantage; • Preparation of young persons for the world of work: Whereas academically it appears that young persons are of quite a good quality, there is much to be desired with respect to soft skills;• Work opportunities for 16-18 year olds are few. The reasons for this situation include: too young and immature; lack work experience; and have little or no qualifications; • Young persons appear to make the transition from school to work smoothly. About half of the young people in the survey just moved from school to the workplace and stayed there. The amount of job mobility of young persons during their transition is overall low; • Few young persons have endorsed the concept of lifelong learning. Less than one third of the respondents in the survey stated that they wished to have further training; • Employers have a very limited role within the present education system. The way through which employers are currently involved in the school to work transition is often limited to sponsoring workplaces to apprentices and summer jobs; • There is a number of young persons who have the initiative and willingness to be selfemployed. In certain cases young persons complained that in their post-secondary course they were only being prepared to work as an employee and not to be self-employed. Although it appears that the transition is smooth for most young people in that they do not appear that they have problems settling down at work, one must also ensure that they have been well informed when making their choices. It is not only a question of getting used to work but that young persons are working within the full potential of their capabilities. Based on these findings, a number of recommendations are made.
ISBN: 9789993268642
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacEduECPE

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