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Workplace-based learning and school-to-work transitions among special needs upper-secondary students with intellectual disabilities in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. (DISLIFE)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2647-2869
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. (DISLIFE)
2019 (English)In: Book of Abstracts, NNDR 2019, 2019Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction and research questions

Having a job commonly viewed as important for people’s health and well-being as well as their social roles and social status in society. Work is also imposed by society for its socio-cultural values and provides prerequisites for social inclusion. There are several important transitions during the life course. Being able to gain and maintain a job is one them, a transition also strongly associated with adulthood as it brings autonomy, social networks and economic independence. People with intellectual disabilities, who have attended special upper secondary school, face harsh discrepancies between the desire to be employed and available opportunities. Although Sweden exhibits one of the highest measures of human equality and GDP growth worldwide, people with intellectual disabilities confront limited access to employment, compared to non-disabled citizens. To deal with this propensity, workplace-based learning (WBL) was implemented in the special upper secondary schools in Sweden in 2013. It is hoped that WBL will help students acquire vocational skills, learn vocational cultures and become a part of the community at a workplace. However, there is limited knowledge about WBL and if and how it enhances opportunities at the labor market for students with intellectual disabilities. This presentation reports experiences about WBL amongst professionals in schools from five different municipalities: how are they working with WBL, how is WBL monitored and evaluated, and to what extent is WBL perceived to improve entry to the labor market for students with intellectual disabilities?

Method

Our findings are based on empirical data retrieved through semi structured interviews with professionals working with WBL in special upper secondary schools. Data was collected in the autumn of 2018, thus the presentation report on up to date new findings. To analyze the empirical data, a thematic content analysis was conducted.

Results

Our presentation focuses on three preliminary findings. First, there is an overall positive view on WBL and the opportunities to enhance the students’ transition to employment. Second, there is no mutual evaluation and documentation procedures in the different municipalities, which professional collaboration and complicate coordinated transitions from school to work. Third, findings also show big differences, both in relation to both WBL and employments, between private and public sector employers. Despite of the recent changes in public policy, private sector still provides more WBL-places and employments for young adults with intellectual disabilities.

Implications

Our study suggest that more research on WBL and school-to-work transitions is needed, not at least research focusing on individual experiences amongst people with intellectual disabilities. It also indicate that improved coordination between school, employers and other work agencies is important to improve quality in WBL as well as enhance the possibilities for future employments for students with intellectual disabilities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Intellectual disabilities, Sweden, Workplace-based learning
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-162790OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-162790DiVA, id: diva2:1346524
Conference
15th interdisciplinary conference in disability research, Copenhagen 8-10 May, 2019. (Inclucion and exclusion in the welfare socity)
Available from: 2019-08-28 Created: 2019-08-28 Last updated: 2019-09-06Bibliographically approved

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No full text in DiVA

Other links

http://www.nndr2019.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Book-of-abstracts-0805191.pdf

Authority records BETA

Ineland, JensKarhina, Kateryna

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Ineland, JensKarhina, Kateryna
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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