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Pathways and Prospects: A longitudinal study of young people negotiating transition after school

Project Leader(s): 
Karen Vaughan

Pathways and Prospects was a 5-year study of young people's pathway and career experiences and perspectives after leaving school and entering study/training and the workforce. 

It investigated how young people make career choices and the meaning of different pathways to them, including how they deal with discontinuity, indecision, and  "changes of heart". 

The project involved annual in-depth interviews with 114 young people  (all school leavers in 2003) involved in trades and public sector-based Modern Apprenticeships, military careers, university and polytechnic programmes, youth training courses, "gap" years, employment, and unemployment. 

Participants were asked to tell their stories of decision-making, youth-adult relations, concepts of career and work/life balance, and wider life aspirations.

The first report is available for download (see below).  It covers the first two years of interviews and focuses on young people's career and identity production.  The third round of interviews has been completed and analysis of these will be complete and available via a report by the end of 2008. 

Funded by the Purchase Agreement with the Ministry of Education