Global Research Symposium

Labour Market Transitions of Young Women and Men: Innovative research from 28 School-to-Work Transition Surveys

An international forum for sharing results of the ILO’s Call for Papers on labour market transition of young women and men in developing countries. The Symposium offers an opportunity for researchers and development practitioners to discuss innovative research on themes of youth employment and labour market transitions and applicability to policy and programme advice and implementation.



Young people face numerous challenges when entering the labour market particularly in developing economies. Not only do they need to find a job, and preferably one that corresponds to their level of qualifications, they also want to develop a foundation for a lasting, stable employment relationship that helps them to progress in life. To better characterize these challenges, the ILO developed the School-to-work Transition Survey (SWTS), a household survey of young people aged 15-29 years, and engaged in a widespread implementation of the survey in 28 low- and middle-income countries with the support of The MasterCard Foundation.

The surveys offer a wealth of information on the characteristics of education, conditions of work, aspirations and labour market transitions of young people, captured in the survey’s unique assessment of respondents’ history of labour market activities. All related SWTS microdata files, as well as the current national, thematic and regional reports, are already available. 

SWTS datasets are available for the following 28 countries:

  • Asia and the Pacific: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Samoa, Viet Nam
  • Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, FYR Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Ukraine
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Jamaica, Peru   
  • Middle East and North Africa: Egypt, Jordan, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Tunisia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Benin, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia

In May 2014, the ILO issued a Call for Papers with the objective of offering researchers worldwide the opportunity to use the SWTS as a primary tool for innovative analysis of youth employment. Prominent youth employment experts and labour market researchers from the ILO, the OECD and the University of Geneva selected seven papers from over 50 submissions. The authors of the seven papers are invited to present their work at the main sessions of the Global Research Symposium.

About the Research Symposium:

Organizers: Work4Youth, ILO Youth Employment Programme, Employment Policy Department

Place:Room III, ILO Headquarters, Geneva - Switzerland

Date: 3-4 March 2015 
The Global Research Symposium is the first of its kind organized by the ILO on the theme of youth employment and labour market transitions. The aim of the symposium is to gather researchers from leading research institutions and development practitioners to exchange on topics of innovative research and ideas for translating its implications into policy and practice.

The papers to be discussed are all based on the results of the recent SWTSs. Topics include:
  • Wage inequality among young workers in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and the Pacific
  • The role of sibling experience in labor market outcomes
  • Vulnerabilities of youth in rural areas
  • Gender, regional socioeconomic development, and the school to work transition of young Brazilians
  • Parent attributes, youth labor market expectations and job matching
If you are interested in attending the Global Research Symposium or would like additional information, please contact Marco Minocri ( - +41 22 799 8693