Lost in transition? Young graduates’ employment after internships in public and private organisations

Mato-Díaz, F. J., & Escudero-Castillo, I. (2023). Lost in transition? Young graduates’ employment after internships in public and private organisations. Journal of Youth Studies, 1-17.




Active labour market policies for young people, backed by the EU Youth Guarantee programme, led governments to trying new measures, amongst them internships for graduates of different education levels. This youth, despite being better prepared than early school leavers, still face problems during their professional insertion processes. Faulty progressions can become ‘lost in transition’ situations (Brinton [2010]. Lost in Transition: Youth, Work, and Instability in Postindustrial Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.). This paper analyzes the effects in terms of employment outcomes of a programme with two types of internships: in private firms and in public administration offices. A counterfactual analysis is carried out by matching intern groups of either type with a control group formed from candidates who ended up without an internship. The results from a first analysis with registered data were enhanced by implementing a second analysis based upon survey data, which permitted the inclusion of family legacy variables in a medium-term analysis. Estimated effects are positive and significant for participants in firms’ internships, and negative and significant for interns who worked in public organisations. Additionally, the survey uncovers that work contracts offered by firms after the programme play a positive role. The results should be very useful for decision making in terms of active measures addressing these issues for young people.



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