Transition systems and non-standard employment in early career: comparing Japan and Switzerland
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Education and Work. 2017, 30 (5), 486-500. 10.1080/13639080.2016.1243234
Even though Japan and Switzerland are characterised by comparatively low youth unemployment rates, non-standard forms of employment are on the rise, posing a risk to the stable integration of young labour market entrants. Drawing on the French approach of societal analysis, this paper investigates how country-specific school-to-work transition systems stratify the risk of non-standard employment in early career differently in Japan and Switzerland. Our results reveal that in Japan, young entrants who completed university education are least at risk of becoming employed in non-standard work. On the contrary, it is the highly educated university graduates who mainly enter the labour market via non-standard employment in Switzerland, where vocational education promotes smooth transitions into standard employment relationships. Our findings suggest that the transition systems of the two countries differ in the way they revert to non-standard forms of employment. However, while job insecurities may not endanger labour market integration of highly skilled university graduates holding good career prospects in Switzerland, they may go hand in hand with social exclusion processes for the low-educated young entrants lacking bargaining power in the segmented Japanese labour market.