Report

Transition From School to Work in OECD – 13% of 15-19 year-olds have already left school

  • Most people in OECD countries make the transition from education to work between the ages of 20 and 24, but 13% of 15-19 year-olds have already left school.
  • The transition from school to work is more difficult for young people without upper secondary education. On average across OECD countries, 36% of 20-24 year-olds who were neither employed nor in education or training (NEET) have not attained upper secondary education, compared with only 18% of people in that age group who were employed.
  • Young people who are still in education have higher literacy and numeracy skills. The difference in skills between those who are in education and those who are not is equivalent to about 2.5 additional years of education.

The transition from school to work can be a difficult period for many young people. This period is often characterised by spells of unemployment and temporary contracts. There were estimated to be about 5 million 15-19 year-olds who were neither employed nor in education or training (NEET) across all OECD countries in 2015, equivalent to 6% of the population of that age. Being NEET is not only difficult for those who are in that situation, it also implies that the skills acquired during education are not used and might deteriorate over time if they are not put to use in further education or employment. As a result, the investment in the education of young people who are NEET is not generating any returns as they increase public welfare expenses. It is therefore important to ensure that all young people leave school with the range of skills they need to be successful and fulfil their maximum potential in the labour market (OECD, 2015a).

Among 15-19 year-olds, 13% have already left education

On average across OECD countries, 87% of 15-19 year-olds are in education but the proportion is lowest in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Israel, Mexico and Turkey, which have enrolment rates of 74% or less (Figure 1). On average across OECD countries, the share decreases to 45% among 20-24 year-olds and to 16% among 25-29 year-olds. This implies that most people make the transition from education to work between the ages of 20 and 24, but it also indicates that 13% of 15-19 year-olds have already left education.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Transition from school to work – Papers – OECD iLibrary

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