Project Description

The school to work transition

We use the British Household Panel Survey to describe young people’s transitions after reaching school-leaving age (SLA) and to understand how early experiences shape later experiences.  We use sequence analysis to visualise the full detail of individuals’ experiences over the first five years post-SLA and to provide a means of assessing the similarity of young people’s outcomes over this period.  This in turn allows us to identify a typography of transitions and then to explore which characteristics are predictive of encountering sustained difficulties.  We then look deeper into the question of what influences transitions between employment, unemployment, education and other inactivity. Our econometric model allows for these transitions to be influenced by earlier experiences and thereby provides an insight into how young people establish themselves in employment or, less positively, how they might end up disengaged from the labour market.


Dorsett, R. and Lucchino, P. (2015) The school-to-work transition: an overview of two recent studies. NIESR discussion paper  PDF

Dorsett, R. and Lucchino, P.( 2015) Experience counts: smoothing the school-to-work transition.  NIESR blog post.  PDF

Dorsett, R. and Lucchino, P. (2014) Explaining patterns in the school-to-work transition: an analysis using optimal matching.  Advances in Life Course Research 22: 1-14.  PDF – gated

Dorsett, R. and Lucchino, P. (2012) Beyond school-leaving age: the first five years in ACEVO Commission on Youth Unemployment report Youth unemployment: the crisis we cannot affordPDF

Dorsett, R. and Lucchino, P. Young people’s labour market transitions: the role of early experiences. NIESR discussion paper PDF


Nuffield Foundation