Enabling young people to obtain a good, stable job quickly is a real challenge for society since the young are one of the groups most affected by unemployment. It is with this in mind that the TEVA study (Transition Ecole-Vie Active – transition from school to working life) was carried out by the Luxembourgish Training Observatory.

This study analyses and monitors the early career development of new school-leavers: those who leave school during or at the end of the school year in which the examination to obtain the diploma of general or technical secondary education is taken. Several generations of new school-leavers are followed during the first three years after leaving school; students who left technical secondary education in 2008, 2009 and 2010 were monitored up to 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively. The study is based on objective data, taken from official databases, such as the one presenting information on students’ school life, provided by the education ministry.

Results of the TEVA study are presented in the TEVA online barometer showing the progress of various generations of young people embarking on their working lives and monitoring the quality of their employment. The tool combines a number of criteria, and so allows comparison, for example, of integration into working life of one generation with that of another, according to academic success or gender. The barometer presents a set of 11 indicators on professional integration (such as rapid access to employment, employment rate after three years) and on the quality of the jobs (aspects such as permanent employment contract after three years, average hourly wage when first employed) held by young people in the course of the first three years after leaving school.

The findings of the TEVA study show that the variety of career paths taken by young people on leaving technical secondary education can be described in a small number of standard paths for all young people in this transition. Eight standard paths have been defined for two generations of new school-leavers (school years 2008/09 and 2009/10). The main path comprises about 46% who obtain a permanent contract in less than one month after leaving school. On average, they spend 34 of the first 36 months of their working lives in a job under a permanent contract. After three years, 94% are in a permanent job. A student who has obtained a qualification is 1.4 times more likely to be on a path of rapid access to permanent employment than one without qualification. The latter are 2.4 times more likely to be on a path of long-term unemployment and inactivity than those who have obtained a qualification.