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The Career Paths of Young People on Leaving Education and Wage Downgrading

By Emmanuelle Nauze-Fichet and Magda Tomasini

Abstract

742,000 young people left education for the first time in 1998. Almost half had been unemployed at some point since leaving education. In spring 2001, the majority of young people (60%) stated that finding a stable job was their main priority during the first three years after leaving education, well ahead of pursuing a career (26%) or devoting time to their private life (14%). In order to attain this stability, some young people compromised on their wage, taking jobs which were low-paid with regard to their qualifications. 42% of baccalauréat or higher education diploma holders, however, have enjoyed stable employment without downgrading in terms of salary. Yet 14% of young people have experienced downgrading whilst in stable employment. 7% of baccalauréat or higher education diploma holders have held a downgraded job before moving to a higher level job in line with their qualifications.Overeducation, Transition, Mobility

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