Design of the project

To explore these questions, the Deutsches Jugendinstitut (DJI) in 2004 initiated a longitudinal study of the school-to-work transition processes experienced by 4000 young people who in that year completed compulsory education either in a lower secondary school (Hauptschule) or in the Hauptschule stream of a comprehensive school. The baseline was established four months before the end of compulsory schooling, using a classroom questionnaire covering socio-demographic information (e.g., regarding the immigration histories of the young persons’ families), information on their previous educational careers, and on their plans for further schooling and vocational education.
Approximately 2400 actually took part in the first subsequent telephone interview in June 2004. The interview was particularly concerned with support and assistance provided during the last year of school to enable the young people to obtain a school-leaving certificate from the lower secondary school and to ease their way into vocational training and employment – e.g., extra lessons in small groups, internships in enterprises, training in how to apply for jobs, and careers advice provided by teachers and experts in social work for young people.
From November 2004 onward, the young people were interviewed at six-monthly intervals on their subsequent careers in the educational and vocational training system. The design of the study as a longitudinal one (or ‘genuine panel’) makes it possible to present a differentiated record of the path from school to vocational training and employment for each individual.


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