When choosing between post-16 programs, students have to make well-founded, long-term decisions since the school-to-work trajectories are prolonged, risky and de-standardized. Such decision-making has become harder; a motley upper secondary school market and a working-life that most students know little about contribute to this. Swedish compulsory schools are to prepare young people for career choices, but hitherto little research has addressed what they are actually learning in this respect.
The aim of the project is to produce knowledge about career development activities addressing compulsory school students, the contributions from different actors, and how young people receive and value these. The project builds on a survey addressing grade 9-students in three regions, a survey addressing career counsellors in schools in the same regions, case studies in a small number of schools (in the same three regions) of involved actors´ messages about future career alternatives, especially regarding occupations and working life, and how these messages are received by the students. The schools will represent different socioeconomic catchment areas and educational markets. Heads, teachers, career counsellors and students are interviewed, and career information, teaching and guidance are documented. The project fills a knowledge gap in the research on transitions from school to work and higher education. It may contribute to developing schools´ work to enhance young people´s career management skills, and thereby preventing less well-founded career choices.