A youth-centered analysis of the changes in the nature and meaning of work

This project was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number PNII-RU-TE-2014-4-0011. Contract number: 250/01.10.2015.


This project aimed to gain a better understanding of the meanings young people from vocational education and training (VET) attribute to work (including entrepreneurship) and the main structural dynamics at play that shape their views. Starting from the idea that young women and men attending VET enter labour market at a time when the notion of labour is shifting from manual, physical work to services, the project aimed to examine their perceptions in regard to the world of work. In doing this, the research involved in-depth interviews and focus groups with young women and men attending VET, with education staff and employers. The underlying rationale was to go beyond the dual understanding: employment/ unemployment and to examine the more nuanced social dynamics that shape young people’s views on manual labour, professional or administrative work, apprenticeships, work in the grey economy, temporary and part time work, entrepreneurship etc. Ultimately, the research hopes to increase the level of academic legitimacy of the interdisciplinary area of Youth Studies in Romania and will advance research-informed policy recommendations for the area of civic/entrepreneurial education

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