Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology

ERC Starting Grant for research on how work careers develop – by Thijs Bol

Thijs Bol (associate professor UvA) received an ERC Starting Grant (€1,5 million) for his project From School to Career: Towards A Career Perspective on the Labour Market Returns to Education

How do we educate the workforce of the future? In times of major technological change, does specialist vocational training or general training offer better career prospects on the labour market? An important hypothesis is that workers with vocational training have relatively more difficulty remaining employed later in their careers because their specialist skills have become outdated. They will explore these issues by mapping careers in six countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

An important innovation of the project is that labour market change will be measured by analysing millions of historical online job vacancy texts. In this project, this
vacancy data is linked to population registers and existing panel surveys in order to answer the question of how resilient careers of workers with a general or a specific training are against rapid changes in the labour market. Thijs will work on the project with one postdoc and two PhD-students.