The impact of job counselling and training on the employment outcomes of vocational school students
The Fondazione Ing. Rodolfo Debenedetti, in collaboration with Bocconi University, is involved in the 'Obiettivo Lavoro' research project, aimed at facilitating the transition of vocational school students from the school to the labour market.
The first phase of the project, which will be carried out during 2023, includes some pilot activities involving a limited number of schools in Lombardy. The following year, the activities will be extended to many vocational schools in Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto.
The project involves several types of activities:
- Collection of information on the school experience, future plans and employment outcomes of vocational school graduates, by means of questionnaires addressed to students
- Implementation of 'job counselling' services for fifth-year students, carried out by specialised personnel, to support students in finding job opportunities after graduation.
- Training activities for teachers, to support them in their guidance activities carried out within the school.
Data collection activities will be carried out by the Fondazione Ing. Rodolfo Debenedetti and Bocconi University. The proposed interventions will be monitored and evaluated by the researchers involved in the project, who will be responsible for evaluating their impact and publishing the results. Counselling and training activities in schools will be implemented by Adecco.
The pilot initiatives implemented in 2023 are funded by the MUSA - Multilayered Urban Sustainability Action project, financed under the PNRR. UniCredit Foundation will instead finance the project extension, which will take place in the school year 2023-2024.
Data collection: the students’ surveys
Data collection activities will be carried out in all schools participating in the project. The project plans to implement surveys targeting vocational school students. The surveys will be carried out by means of questionnaires administered to students during their final year of study and a few months after graduation.
The first survey will focus on the students' school experience and post-diploma choices. The second survey will instead investigate the employment outcomes of graduates in the year they enter the labour market.
'Job couselling' services for students
Job counselling services will be tested in some pilot schools. The proposed activities include class meetings for fifth-grade students. The meetings will be led by ‘job coaches’ with several years of experience in recruitment activities and orientation in schools. These professional figures will be provided by Adecco, a private employment agency that is partner in this project.
The job coaches will be able to address the following topics:
- The importance of 'soft skills' in the workplace
- The employment contracts
- How to look for a job
- Maintaining a digital reputation
- How to write a CV and a motivation letter
- How to prepare for a job interview
Training activities for teachers will be offered in some pilot schools. The training sessions target primarily teachers of final-year students or teachers in charge of orientation activities at school. The objective of the training sessions is to provide a set of ready-to-use tools and contents possibly to be used later in the class with the students. The aim is therefore to train teachers so that they can be more effective in their orientation activities and support their students in the search for employment opportunities after graduation.
In the course of 2023, project activities will be implemented in a limited number of vocational schools that have agreed to be the first to test the proposed interventions. This is a crucial phase of the project, which will allow the research team and Adecco to test on a small scale the contents of the proposed activities or their practical organisation.
We thank the school staff and students for their availability.