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Research into inequality in transition from education to work

23 November 2021
Jos Akkermans of VU Amsterdam (School of Business and Economics), together with colleagues Romy van der Lee and Bianca Beersma (Faculty of Social Sciences) and partners from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) and ROC van Amsterdam, received a grant from ‘Kenniscentrum Ongelijkheid’ (Knowledge Centre for Inequality). They will use this grant to study inequality during the transition from education to work among young people in Amsterdam.

The aim of this research is to gain a better understanding of how inequality arises before and after the transition to the labour market. In addition, the researchers want to contribute to interventions to prevent or counteract inequality among young people.

"By following the path of young people, we are charting the causes of inequality in the field of employability of young people, which may have been reinforced by the COVID-19 crisis. We also formulate starting points for interventions to support Amsterdam's young people. Vulnerable groups can thus be identified and supported at an early stage in order to limit negative effects in the long term," the researchers write in their proposal.

Jos Akkermans is the project manager and expert in career research. Together with Romy van der Lee (expert in diversity and inclusion) and Bianca Beersma (expert in cooperation and competition), he forms the interdisciplinary research team of VU Amsterdam. Through the cooperation with the HvA and ROC van Amsterdam, research is combined with the implementation of the results in practice. The two-year research project is funded by ‘Kenniscentrum Ongelijkheid’. Among other things, this grant will be used to hire a postdoctoral researcher.

"We are extremely happy with the grant for this project because it allows us to conduct research into employability development among young people in the Amsterdam area," says project leader Jos Akkermans. "Specifically, we will look at possible inequalities during the transition to the labour market. This is a crucial theme on which there is still insufficient knowledge in research on career success and diversity. With this project, we hope to help ROCs, colleges and universities to better understand and intervene on possible inequality of students at the start of their professional careers."

‘Kenniscentrum Ongelijkheid’ is a joint initiative of the City of Amsterdam and the four knowledge institutes in the city: UvA, VU, HvA and Inholland. The aim of the centre is to describe and explain new, persistent or growing forms of inequality in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and, through research, to contribute to practices that can prevent or counteract inequality.