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The Role of Education and Training in Labour Market Integration

Call for papers for: Education + Training

Call for Papers

The Role of Education and Training in Labour Market Integration

A special issue of

Education + Training

Guest Editor:

Vidmantas Tūtlys, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania


Transition from education to work has long been a topic of interest to Education + Training and most contributions have focussed on aspects of new labour market entrants, whether from vocational programmes or higher education. Work readiness and employability has often been addressed in relation to the first employment of graduates from various sectors of education, and youth unemployment and underemployment appears to be a perennial problem (McDonald, 2011). Less attention has been paid to those entering or re-entering the labour market at different stages of their careers, yet there are parallel issues, and with successive economic crises and associated restructuring (Winterton and Forde, 2013), such issues are affecting increasing numbers of workers (Burgess, Connell and Winterton, 2013). 

This Special Issue is devoted to the labour market integration of those who have not recently graduated from educational programmes but who are seeking to enter or re-enter the labour market. These new entrants to the labour market may be recently arrived migrant workers (Wrench, Rea and Ouali, 1999), refugees (Hernes et al., 2019), or asylum seekers (Saga, 2015), including victims of modern slavery or human trafficking (Hanlon, 2018). In many countries, the policies restricting immigration present challenges for labour market integration of refugees and asylum seekers (Bevelander and Pendakur, 2014; Bloch, 2008; Maroufi, 2017; Sager and Thomann, 2017). The most vulnerable categories of workers are also more likely to face discrimination, presenting further barriers to employment and representing part of a complex web of factors of multiple deprivation or ‘hyper-precarity’ (Lewis et al., 2015). Among migrant workers, there are substantial gender differences with respect to their integration into European labour markets (Ala-Mantila and Fleischmann, 2018). 

Questions of employability and work readiness are just as relevant to labour market re-entrants. Any period labour market absence reduces the chances of gaining employment and the longer the absence the more difficult it is to return (Nwavu et al., 2018). Individuals may seek to re-enter the labour market after major health interventions (Kruse et al., 2009), after having spent time in prison (Fletcher, 2001; Ramakers, Van Wilsem and Apel, 2012) or after military service (Tūtlys, Liesionienė and Winterton, 2019). Others are seeking re-employment after taking time out to raise children or care for an aged relative; whilst they are often ‘women returners’ (Tomlinson, Olsen and Purdam, 2008), men also are involved and face similar problems in balancing care responsibilities with work commitments (Arksey, 2002). Another category is older workers returning to the labour market (Börsch-Supan et al., 2019), whether to augment their pensions or as part of initiatives for ‘active ageing’ (Gendron, 2011; Hamblin, 2013). Older workers have more difficulty in finding reemployment after job loss (Wanberg et al., 2016) and are more prone to skills obsolescence (Lalé, 2018). 

For employees seeking work after redundancy, their likelihood of finding a position depends upon support and local labour markets. Armstrong et al. (2008) compared two car plants that closed in Australia and the UK, finding more workers retired in Australia where there were fewer opportunities for retraining than in the UK, but noting that in both cases workers who found new employment invariably experienced lower earnings and reduced job security. Hane-Weijman, Eriksson and Henning (2018) in a large study of downsizing in Sweden, found that re-employment was heavily dependent on the local presence of other employers in the same sector. The global financial crisis and the EU sovereign debt crisis brought temporary absences from the labour market and a comparative study of the impact on employment similarly explained country variation by relative labour market flexibility: greater flexibility was associated with more opportunities for re-employment but the crisis exacerbated the dualization of labour markets (Eichhorst et al., 2010)  

The growth of precarious work poses a major challenge for making education and training because part of the vulnerability of those in precarious work is their lack of access to union organisation and worker education (Hlatshwayo, 2020). The profound economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic is expected to bring more people into the category of vulnerable workers as well as making labour market re-integration a priority for large proportions of the global workforce. The IMF noted that Covid-19 has brought the worst recession since the Second World War. The OECD believes that it will more than halve global growth and that the global economy will take years to recover. The World Bank expressed fears that it will have the worst effect on the poorest developing nations, bringing millions more into poverty. The ILO is monitoring the unprecedented decline in employment and working hours, anticipating a substantial increase in global unemployment, almost certainly surpassing the Great Depression.  

The Covid-19 pandemic makes this first Special Issue on Labour Market Integration especially relevant and timely. We welcome contributions that address the education and training issues associated with labour market integration and re-integration including, but not restricted to:

  • Labour market integration of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. 
  • Employment and training initiatives for victims of human trafficking or modern slavery.
  • Re-integration after labour market absence due to military service or incarceration.
  • Re-employment following absence due to ill health or to care for children or aged relatives.
  • Labour market activation following unemployment, redundancy, or retirement.
  • Role of qualifications for accessing training and employment to promote employability.
  • Education and training to promote entrepreneurial activity as alternative to employment.
  • Implications for education and training as remote forms of working become embedded.
  • Opportunities and challenges for integration in the context of disruptive technologies.

Deadline and Submission Details

The submission deadline for all papers is 1st March 2021

The publication date of this special issue is September 2021

To submit your research, please visit the Scholar One manuscript portal
To view the author guidelines for this journal, please visit the journal's page

Contact the Guest Editor:

Vidmantas Tūtlys
Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania
[email protected]


Ala-Mantila, M. and Fleischmann, F. (2018), “Gender differences in labour market integration trajectories of recently arrived migrants in the Netherlands”, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Vol. 44 no.11, pp. 1818-1840.
Arksey, H. (2002), “Combining informal care and work: supporting workers in the workplace”, Health and Social Care in the Community, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 151-161.
Armstrong, K., Bailey, D., de Ruyter, A., Mahdon, M. and Thomas, H. (2008), “Auto plant closures, policy responses and labour market outcomes: a comparison of MG Rover in the UK and Mitsubishi in Australia”, Policy Studies, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 343-355. 
Bevelander, P. and Pendakur, R. (2014), “The labour market integration of refugee and family reunion immigrants: A comparison of outcomes in Canada and Sweden”, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Vol. 40 No. 5, pp. 689-709.   
Bloch, A. (2008), “Refugees in the UK labour market: The conflict between economic integration and policy-led labour market restriction”, Journal of Social Policy, Vol. 37 No. 1, pp. 21-36
Börsch-Supan, A., Hanemann, F., Beach, B., Halimi, D., Harding, S., Van der Waal, M., Watanabe, D. and Staudinger, U.M. (2019), “Older adults’ integration in the labour market: A global view”, Ageing & Society,
Burgess, J., Connell, J. and Winterton, J. (2013), “Vulnerable workers, precarious work and the role of trade unions and HRM”, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 24 No. 22, pp. 4083-4093.
Eichhorst, W., Escudero, V., Marx, P. and Tobin, S. (2010), “The impact of the crisis on employment and the role of labour market institutions”, Discussion Paper No. 5320, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn.
Fletcher, D.R. (2001), “Ex-offenders, the labour market and the new public administration”, Public Administration, Vol. 79 No. 4, pp 871-891.
Gendron, B. (2011), “Older workers and active ageing in France: the changing early retirement and company approach”, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 22 No. 6, pp. 1221-1231.
Hamblin, K.A. (2013), Active Ageing in the European Union: Policy Convergence and Divergence, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills.
Hane-Weijmen, E., Eriksson, R.H. and Henning, M. (2018), “Returning to work: regional determinants of re-employment after redundancies”, Regional Studies, Vol. 52 No. 6, pp. 768-780.
Hanlon, R.J. (2018), “Human trafficking and the issue of slavery in supply chains”, in Boulby, M. and Christie, K. (Eds), Migration, Refugees and Human Security in the Mediterranean and MENA, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp. 177-198. 
Hernes, V., Arendt, J.N., Joona, P.A. and Tronstad, K.R. (2019), Nordic integration policies for refugees. A comparative analysis of labour market integration outcomes, Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen.
Hlatshwayo, M. (2020), “Workers’ education under conditions of precariousness: Re-imagining workers’ education”, The Economic and Labour Relations Review, Vol. 30 No.1, pp. 96-113. 
Kruse, M., Sørensen, J., Davidsen, M. and Gyrde-Hansen, D. (2009), “Short and long-term labour market consequences of coronary heart disease: a register-based follow-up study”, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology & Rehabilitation, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 387-391.
Lalé, E. (2018), “Turbulence and the employment experience of older workers”, Quantitative Economics, Vol. 9, pp. 735-784.  
Lewis, H., Dwyer, P., Hodkinson, S. and Waite, L. (2015), “Hyper-precarious lives: Migrants, work and forced labour in the Global North”, Progress in Human Geography, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 580-600.
McDonald, R. (2011), “Youth transitions, unemployment and underemployment: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?” Journal of Sociology, Vol. 47 No. 4, pp. 427-444.
Maroufi, M. (2017), “Precarious integration: Labour market policies for refugees or refugee policies for the German labour market?” Refugee Review: Special Focus Labour, Vol. III, pp. 15-33.
Nwavu, C.A., Kivimäki, M., Pentti, J., Vahtera, J. and Virtanen, P. (2018), “Sickness absence in a re-employment program as a predictor of labor market attachment among long-term unemployed individuals: A 6-year cohort study in Finland”, Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Vol. 44 No. 5, pp. 496-502.
Ramakers, A., Van Wilsem, J. and Apel, R. (2012), “The effects of labour market absence on finding employment: A comparison between ex-prisoners and unemployed future prisoners”, European Journal of Criminology, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 442-461. 
Sager, F. and Thomann, E. (2017), “Multiple streams in member state implementation: Politics, problem construction and policy paths in Swiss asylum policy”, Journal of Public Policy, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 287-314. 
Sager, M. (2015), “Precarity at Work. Asylum rights and paradoxes of labour in Sweden,” in Waite, L., Craig, G., Lewis, H. and Skrivankova, K. (Eds), Vulnerability, Exploitation and Migrants. Insecure Work in a Globalised Economy, Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 115-128.
Tomlinson, J., Olsen, W. and Purdam, K. (2008), “Women returners and potential returners: Employment profiles and labour market opportunities – A case study of the United Kingdom”, European Sociological Review, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 394-363.
Tūtlys, V., Liesionienė, O. and Winterton, J. (2019), “Institutional considerations for re-integrating military personnel into civilian labour markets: A case study from Lithuania”, Personnel Review, Vol. 48 No. 1, pp. 21-39.
Wanberg, C.R., Kanfer, R., Hamman, D.J. and Zhang, Z. (2016), “Age and reemployment success after job loss: An integrative model and meta-analysis”, Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 142 No. 4, pp. 400-426.
Winterton, J. and Forde, C. (2013), “L’Europe en crise: vers un modèle heuristique de la restructuration”, in Le Deist, F. (Ed.), Restructurations et santé au travail: regards pluridisciplinaires, Octarès, Toulouse, pp. 27-46.
Wrench, J., Rea, A. and Ouali, N. (Eds), (1999), Migrants, Ethnic Minorities and the Labour Market. Integration and Exclusion in Europe, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills.