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Thematic reviews", geared to providing a cross-national perspective on particular themes of common interest and growing importance were begun in 1995. Participating counties, selected so as to cover a range of structures, traditions and circumstances and extending across the global reach of the OECD, prepare a focussed background report (often supplemented by policy statements, data displays and research reports) in response to a common set of agreed questions and organise study visits for an external thematic review team. In 1996, the OECD's Education Committee launched a 14-country (Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA) Thematic Review of the Transition from Initial Education to Working Life. Within a lifelong learning framework the review had two key goals:

  • To describe how young people's transition to work changed during the 1990s; and
  • To describe the education, labour and social policies, and the interaction between these, that lead to successful youth transitions.

Each of the 14 participating countries prepared a Background Report describing the general context of youth transitions and setting out key policy concerns. The review team that visited each country prepared a Country Note to summarise its observations and suggestions. (The views expressed in the Country Notes are those of the review teams. They do not commit the OECD or the countries concerned.) In addition, a number of consultants' papers were commissioned to assist the Thematic Review.

The final report of the Thematic Review, entitled From Initial Education to Working Life - Making Transitions Work was published in May 2000, and the final conference from the Review, which considered the report's conclusions, was held in Budapest in May 2000.

This Thematic Review forms part of a wider body of OECD work on youth employment and youth transition issues that was conducted during the same period. This includes:

Chapter 3 from the 1998 Employment Outlook - Getting started, settling in: the transition from education to the labour market

Chapter 4 from the 1996 Employment Outlook - Growing into work: youth and the labour market over the 1980s and 1990s

Preparing Youth for the 21st Century: The Transition from Education to the Labour Market, the proceedings of a major analytical conference on youth employment held in Washington, D.C. in February 1999; and

A conference of OECD Labour and Education Ministers on youth policy that was held in London in February 2000. 

Documents and publications

Background reports

Country notes

Consultant papers

Conferences

Transition conference -Norwegian Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs, Oslo, 1-2 November 1999

Special seminar of the OECD Education Committee, 18 November 1999


OECD Ministers Conference on Youth Employment, 8-9 February 2000, London

Making Transitions Work - Final Conference on the Transition from Initial Education to Working Life, 21-23 May 2000, Budapest

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