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The role of different types of skills and signals in youth labor market integration

This paper investigates to what extent self-rated job-specific and generic skills and different types of educational signals are positively related to the labor market integration process of Dutch graduates, 18 months after finishing upper secondary vocational education. Our contributions to the current literature are that of simultaneously investigating these different types of skills and (a more extensive concept of) educational signals, and moreover examining to what extent the impact of self-rated specific skills and educational signals differ between the four labor market outcomes under investigation. We analyzed secondary survey data from the VET survey collected in the Netherlands in 2015. Results indicate that (1) self-rated specific skills—acquired either in education or on the job—are more positively related to favorable labor market outcomes than self-rated generic skills in the first 18 months of graduates’ integration process, (2) only certain educational signals positively impact labor market integration, and (3) the positive impact of self-rated specific skills and signals varies between different labor market outcomes.