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Working and learning: A diversity of patterns

The combination of work and study has been hailed as crucial to ensure that youth develop the skills required on the labour market so that transitions from school to work are shorter and smoother. This paper fills an important gap in availability of internationally comparable data. Using the 2012 Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), it draws a comprehensive picture of work and study in 23 countries/regions. Crucially, it decomposes the total share of working students by the context in which they work (VET, apprenticeships or private arrangements) and assesses the link between field of study and students’ work. The paper also assesses how the skills of students are used in the workplace compared to other workers and identifies the socio-demographic factors and the labour market institutions that increase the likelihood of work and study. Finally, while it is not possible to examine the relationship between work and study and future labour market outcomes at the individual level, some aggregate correlations are unveiled.