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FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren

Vocational Teachers as Facilitators in the School-to-Work Transition

Alternative title: Yrkesfaglæreres tilrettelegging i overgangen fra skole til arbeidsliv

Awarded: NOK 10.0 mill.

Dropout from upper secondary education is considered one of the biggest challenges in Norwegian education system and has received a lot of attention for many years, both among politicians and in the media. The dropout rate is highest in vocational programmes, and the transition from the school-based part of vocational education and training (VET) to apprenticeship is a particular challenge for many students. Every year, between 7000 and 9000 young people are left without an apprenticeship, with the majority of them being legally entitled to upper secondary education. School4Work aims to develop knowledge about the transition from the school-based part of VET to apprenticeship and the roles that schools, teachers, companies and training agencies have during this process. The project aims to develop measures and strategies that may help vocational teachers to facilitate students’ transition to apprenticeship and develop a textbook that can be used in vocational teacher education. The project is organised into three subprojects that focus on different aspects of the transition from school to apprenticeship and on the different actors involved during the placement process. Important questions concern the role of schools in preparing students for the labour market and the strategies that teachers use to facilitate access to apprenticeships. The project will also study employers’ decisions when hiring apprentices and the role played by training agencies, as well as how potential discrimination against certain groups of students can be explained. The project will be conducted by an interdisciplinary research group in collaboration with the regional educational authorities in Oslo and Akershus.

The transition from the school-based part of VET to apprenticeship is one of the biggest challenges in the education system in Norway. Every year, between 7000 and 9000 young people are left without an apprenticeship after the first two years of VET in school. Young people who do not obtain an apprenticeship may leave education and training early, putting them at risk of remaining not in education, employment or training (NEET). School4Work aims to develop knowledge that will enable vocational teachers to facilitate students’ transition from the school-based part of VET to apprenticeship. The project will develop measures and strategies that can be implemented in vocational teacher practice to support young people in their transition from school to work. School4Work is an interdisciplinary project, drawing on the fields of education, sociology and political science. We will develop knowledge about the role of schools and teachers in preparing students for the transition to apprenticeship. Furthermore, we will study employers’ decisions when hiring apprentices and the role played by training agencies. Methodically, we will combine complementary approaches, including 1) a scoping review, 2) focus group and individual interviews, 3) vignettes, 4) a survey and 5) analysis of register data. The project is based on theories on employers’ decision-making processes when hiring new staff and theories on the role of teachers as ‘boundary workers’ at the boundary of school and work. The project is developed and will be conducted in collaboration with the regional educational authorities in Oslo and Akershus (school owners). Together with our project partners, we will organise workshops to discuss the project findings with vocational teachers, school leaders and staff in training agencies. Furthermore, the findings and their possible implications will be summarised in a textbook for vocational teacher education. School4Work includes a PhD and a postdoctoral fellowship.

Funding scheme:

FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren