Vocational identity of at-risk youth: tailoring to support career chances
How can mentors and social workers foster the vocational identity of at-risk youth and improve their prospects?
- Rineke Keijzer-Groot
- 18 November 2021
- Fulltext in Scholarly Publications Leiden University
Strengthening the societal position of at-risk youth is challenging though necessary in order to create better opportunities for them to participate in society. Work is an important means to that end, enabling young people to live independently. Work also plays a role in the psychological need to express your vocational identity: who you are as a worker.
Having a vocational identity means that you are aware of your capabilities, ambitions and values concerning work. A strong vocational identity helps to make choices and acts as a guide throughout working life. At-risk youth have vulnerable school careers and are at risk of dropping out. They attend programs at a low educational level and are at greater risk of unemployment. A strong vocational identity may counterbalance these risks as it can ensure these young people to learn about the work they could and want to do, and can provide for better work prospects. Special curricula and social programs for at-risk youth seek approaches to fostering vocational identity.
This dissertation focuses on the relationships between individual characteristics of at-risk youth and their vocational identity, concentrates on the possible contribution of malleable characteristics, and provides insights into the treatment by mentors during individual mentoring.