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First Austrian Panel Study on Education and Career Paths after Elementary School

The occupational chances of the youth are key issues in discussions on labor market and educational policy. Nevertheless, Austria has only limited empirical data on the phase of the transition from the educational system to the labor market in a longitudinal perspective.

On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Labor, Social Issues and Consumer Protection (bmask) and the Federal Ministry for Education, Art and Culture (bm:ukk), SORA carried out a three-year longitudinal research project on the various transitions in the job entry phase and on the challenges young people meet throughout this process.

Three year panel study closes research gap

For the first time in Austria a panel study with three waves of data collection was carried out among elementary school pupils ("Hauptschüler"). The research project aimed at deepening our knowledge of the dynamic factors during the job entry phase of young people. "With these data it was possible to close an obvious gap in the area of Austrian research labor markets, education and youth", says project leader Daniel Schönherr from SORA.

Three waves of data collection

Target group of this project are 8th degree elementary school childreen (14-year-olds) who are studied during a period of three years on their educational and career path. The first wave of data collection took place within the classroom in spring 2011. Two further telephone surveys were carried out in 2012 and 2013. In addition to the quantitative data, in between the waves of data collection qualitative interviews with the youngsters were carried out in order to develop a deeper understanding of individual and structural factors and variables.

A contribution to evidence-based policy making

This research project provided a unique data basis for in-depth analyses of the transition from the educational system to the labor market, and it equips labor market and education experts with a sound knowledge base.