How does the education attainment level influences the possibility of becoming NEET? In this article we will analyse NEET rates by educational attainment in four Youth Impact project partners’ countries (Czechia, Germany, Poland, Slovakia) and compare the results with the European Union average.
“Across the OECD, upper secondary education is generally considered the minimum educational attainment level for successful labour-market integration.” states the OECD report Education at a Glance 2019: OECD Indicators. It seems to be true when comparing NEET rates in four EU countries participating in the Youth Impact project both in younger age group (20–24), and a little older (25–29). In this article we will use three educational attainment levels based on ISCED, as they are described in one of our previous articles: www.youth-impact.eu/2020/03/13/international-standard-classification-of-education.
In 2018, the NEET rate for young people aged 20–24 in the EU was 35% among those with a low level of education, compared with 11.5% among those with an intermediate level of education. This means that low-educated youth were three times as likely to be neither in employment nor in education and training as those who attained an intermediate level. The NEET rates in the Youth Impact partners’ countries for people aged 20–24 ranged from 23.1% in Germany to 57.8% in Slovakia for youth with low level of education, and from 4.4% in Germany up to a peak of 12.7% in Poland for those with an intermediate level of education.
Similar pattern can be seen in the age group of 25 to 29 years old. In 2018, the NEET rate for this group in the EU was 40.3% among those with a low level of education, compared with 16.1% among those with an intermediate educational attainment, and 9.4% among those with a high level of education. Thus, in this age group young people with the low level of education were almost twice as likely to be neither in employment nor in education and training as those with a high level. The NEET rates in the Youth Impact partners’ countries for people aged 25–29 with a low level of education ranged between 36.7% in Germany to a peak of 69.6% in Slovakia, for those with an intermediate level of education – from 8.4% in Germany up to 19.1% in Poland. For those aged 25–29 with a high level of education, the NEET rates were overall lower than for the other levels of education, varying from 5.1% in Germany to 17.9% in Slovakia.
It is visible that labour market premiums those with higher education. Smaller differences in employment rates for different levels of educational attainment may though – as it is written in OECD education report – “occur in a number of different national contexts, for example in countries with labour-market shortages, or countries with a strong emphasis on vocational education at the upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary levels.” Comparing labour-market indicators across countries “can inform the design of education policies, which aim to ensure that the students of today can be well prepared for the labour market of tomorrow.” (OECD 2019)
OECD (2019), Education at a Glance 2019: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/education-at-a-glance_19991487
The graphs are based on Eurostat dataset: edat_lfse_21