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Connecting the dots: The in- and exclusive role of networks

29/30 Oct 2024


Connecting the dots: The in- and exclusive role of networks in education, vocational training, and labour market transitions

29 - 30 October 2024, University of Lausanne, Switzerland


The aim of this workshop is to investigate the role of networks in educational and job market settings and particularly in life-course transitions. We are interested in how networks are built and in their effects on the exclusion or support of disadvantaged groups. We are interested in examining, e.g.:

  • Network and peer effects in educational and classroom settings.
  • Referral networks' impact on apprenticeship positions and labour market attainment.
  • Employer collaboration in occupational labour markets and vocational education and training.

We want to discuss the complex interplay between networks within the realms of education, vocational training, and employment and how they offer opportunities, but also pose barriers. Arenas in which such networks play a role include but are not limited to classrooms, job markets, and employer networks. Within schools, friendships can serve as assets or liabilities, potentially influencing students' academic performance through their peers. Similarly, informal networks linking employees and employers may enhance the prospects of some but not others. Lastly, employers’ hiring expectations may also be shaped by their position in employer networks, as may be their investment in vocational education and training. Understanding how collective labour market institutions influence individual outcomes and how employers sustain them is of also interest.

Workshop structure

The workshop will consist of a keynote by Martin Arvidsson and a discussion of papers. Participants present a paper and discuss a paper by one fellow participant. Papers are circulated beforehand.

Date and location

The workshop will take place from Tuesday 29th to Wednesday 30th of October 2024 at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). An hour away from Geneva, the Olympic capital Lausanne is surrounded by UNESCO World Heritage vineyards.


Questions can be directed to Annatina Aerne or Giuliano Bonoli who organize the workshop together with the LIVES research center (Working group Skills and Inclusiveness) at the University of Lausanne and the Leading House for the Governance of Vocational and Professional Education and Training (GOVPET). The workshop is hosted by the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Administration Publique (IDHEAP).