Opportunities of young people for entering matching first job: the role of education Angelca Ivančič
Summary: The latest comparative research findings indicate that the way production of qualifications is structured, access to these structures and the opportunity for transition between them is essential for a smooth transition from education to work. Based on statistical registry data (compiled from different registers) for the years from 1991 to 2006, this paper examines the question of how different levels and types of education affect early labor market careers of young people during the transition from school to work in Slovenia. The duration of the first job search and the attained occupational position upon entry into primary employment after attaining various levels of education in the regular formal education system are analyzed. We are particularly interested in the effects of changes regarding greater horizontal differentiation at the level of secondary education and strengthened connections between education and the labor market introduced by the educational reform on labor market outcomes of respective educational qualifications. In addition, we also analyzed the effects of changes at the tertiary level with special emphasis on the expansion of tertiary education. The results prove that greater educational attainment is crucial for the speed of entry into a first significant job and for the attainment of higher occupational status. It is confirmed that young people who do not invest in formal qualifications above primary education suffer the greatest loss in their early labor market career. Tertiary education graduates, on the other hand, are the absolute winners, both in terms of the speed of entry into their first job and particularly in the status of the first job. On the contrary, secondary vocational education is severely under-rewarded within the Slovene labor market. A strong cohort effect has been registered. The findings do indicate that access to the first job has improved over time for all educational levels.