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Perceptions and experiences of a sample of nontraditional students in transition from Higher Education to the Labour Market in Western Sicily.


In recent years a long economic crisis has affected the occupational opportunities of young people. In Italy, unemployment among 20-34 year olds, reached percentage values as high as 40%. The purpose of this work was to investigate perceptions and expectations of a group of nontraditional students about to graduate in Western Sicily. A group of 200 nontraditional students (112F/88M) attending final year classes in four randomly selected university courses were interviewed using a 25 item questionnaire. The students selected were concerned about the post-graduation period, and all complained about the scarcity of employment opportunities in the south of Italy. Indeed, a distance remains between education, market dynamics and employers. Education to produce skilled graduates therefore becomes crucial and requires a new pathway derived from a better insight in the youth labour market.