Dörrarna stängs på något sätt
: Om övergången mellan gymnasiesärskola och ett yrkesliv

Translated title of the thesis: Somehow the doors are shut: The transition between upper secondary special school and a professional life
  • Sebastian Aggestam
  • Anton Vestermark

Student thesis: Professional degree, Advanced level


The aim of this study is to survey the efforts made to increase employment rates for youth with intellectual disabilities in two Swedish municipalities. A representative each from four different key professions in the school-to-work transition process were interviewed in each municipality, for a grand total of eight informants: Vocational teachers and guidance counselors from upper secondary special school, employment officers from the Swedish public employment service and two employment consultants. The focus of each in-depth interview were the perceptions of challenges and possibilities youth with ID faced when if trying to achieve employment post-graduation. The interviews were recorded and processed by means of phenomenological analysis, which revealed two separate themes in the empirical data. The results show how a segregated learning environment and separate curriculum negatively effects the development of necessary social skills required to succeed in the workplace. There also appears to be a conflict between a relational perspective on disability in upper secondary special school and a categorical perspective in the labor market. The informants describe an increased competition for job vacancies between youth with ID and other marginalized groups, and the responsibility for including youth with ID mainly falls upon different municipal education and welfare interventions. These interventions are chiefly offered to the pupils who the informants deem as already having the highest capacity for work, leading to an arbitrary division of the group into able and unable pupils. Cooperation between the different municipal institutions is often upheld by single individuals, and these institutions need to reach a consensus and deeper understanding of their respective goals and assignments in order to apply the most effective interventions. Finally, the results have been analyzed with the help of Bourdieu’s theory of capital, habitus and field. The analysis shows that the habitus of the informants affect their decision making in the overlapping fields of education and labor market. This in turn affects the youths’ possibility to develop necessary social skills and capital, where the already most successful youth are rewarded with the most successful interventions.
Date of Award2022-Jun
Original languageSwedish
SupervisorKerstin Ahlqvist (Supervisor), Daniel Östlund (Assessor) & Daniel Östlund (Examiner)

Educational program

  • Special Education Teacher Programme

University credits

  • 15 HE credits

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Pedagogical Work (50304)


  • Employment interventions
  • inclusion
  • intellectual disability
  • municipal cooperation
  • school-to-work transition
  • upper secondary special school
  • work capacity

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