[Articles] Have unskilled youths become more vulnerable to unemployment in Switzerland?

Unemployment scourges many countries, but Switzerland has been known for a long time as a place where unemployment is a “non-problem” (e. g. Flückiger, 1998). The situation has clearly changed since the mid-nineties, when unemployment rose to national record levels and peaked at around 5% in 1997. Young workers, especially unskilled ones, are the most vulnerable to unemployment, and we therefore focus on this socio-economic group. Our contention is that evolution in trade, new technologies and workplace organisation might have an adverse impact on low-skilled young workers.

The gap between highly qualified workers and those having achieved only intermediate or basic education has widened over the past 20 years in most developed economies, raising concerns about increasing income inequality (Juhn et al., 1993; Card & DiNardo, 2002). This literature has focused on the relative situation of highly educated individuals, and has tried to uncover the determinants of this growing inequality. Among the latter, one can mention technological change, globalization, or the lossof union power.

This paper examines young workers in Switzerland who failed to achieve any formal education beyond compulsory schooling. We focus on the labour market status of these young workers, and compare it with those of adults in order to identify possible changes that have occurred over the last decades.

Author(s): Sylvain Weber, Vahan Garibian, Giovanni Ferro Luzzi, Jean-Marc Falter

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[Articles] Precarious employment and working poverty among youth. Conceptual reflections and empirical evidence from Switzerland in the late 2000s.

Most of the recent specialist literature underlines the development of precarious employment in OECD countries since the 1980s and the fact that labour market entrants have been disproportionately affected (Esping-Andersen, 1999, Vives et al., 2010, Porthé et al., 2010, Frade/Darmon, 2005). A vast body of literature on the school-to-work transition already exists.

Most studies have focused on the difference between systems that promote vocational training, especially the dual system of apprenticeship, and those that promote general skills (Dieckhoff, 2008, Allmendinger, 1989, Buchmann,2002). The school-to-work transition is smoother in countries with occupation-specific credentialing systems, such as Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland, than in countries that promote general skills (Wolbers, 2007, Bertschy et al., 2008, Breen, 2005, Korpi et al., 2003, Scherer, 2005). Inthelatter,thenumberofjobchangesishigheratthebeginningof the work career (Quintini/Manfredi, 2009).

The aim of this article is not to analyse all possible transitions between education, unemployment, precarious employment and stable employment, but to focus on one specific situation that young workers (20 to 34 years old) may be more likely to face than more experienced workers, namely precarious employment, and on some of its causes and consequences, in particular unemployment and working poverty.

Author(s): Eric Crettaz

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[Articles] Motivationssemester als Angebote im Übergang von der Schule in Ausbildung und Arbeit: Wirkungen, Grenzen und künftige Entwicklungen eines Handlungsfeldes der Sozialen Arbeit

Die Berufswahl und die Suche nach einem Ausbildungsplatz gehören zu den zentralen Entwicklungsaufgaben der Jugendphase. Weit weniger als früher können und müssen Jugendliche sich heute aber an gesellschaftlich vorstrukturierten, sozial normierten und kontrollierten Lebensläufeorientieren-durch die gesellschaftliche Modernisierungund Individualisierung hat das Ausmass an Entscheidungsmöglichkeiten bei der Realisierung von Lebensentwürfen enorm zugenommen. Der Verlust traditioneller Sicherheit erhöht aber auch die Anforderungen an Reflexions- und Orientierungsfähigkeiten und birgt die Gefahr der Desintegration, wenn individuelle und soziale Bewältigungsressourcen fehlen. Die Anforderungen im Übergang sind jedoch nicht nur aufgrund gewandelter gesellschaftlicher Bedingungen gestiegen.

Author(s): Brigitte Müller, Dorothee Schaffner

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