Issues in School to Work Transition in Sri Lanka

Monday, July 14, 2014: 3:45 PM
Room: F203
Oral Presentation
Siri HETTIGE , Sociology, university of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka
The transition from school to work has become more complex in recent years due to both the changes in the education system as well as the dynamics within the labor market. This paper, first provides an overview of the above changes based on secondary data drawn from various institutions  and then examines how young people in Sri Lanka fit into both the education system and the labor market in the light of data drawn from the national youth survey of Sri Lanka conducted in 2009 under the direction of the author.

As is evident from the survey data, the desire on the part of the youth in general for securing educational credentials  remains strong, though the opting out of education at secondary level  is also increasing, particularly among male children. This tendency appears to be related to labor market dynamics as well as poor prospects for employment among youth with higher levels of education. Domestic labor shortages and increasing overseas employment opportunities for people with low levels of educational attainment persuade young people to leave school early. The paper discusses the implications of the above for skill formation in a  country  that strive to achieve a higher level of economic development in the years to come.