Tackling Early Leaving from Education and Training in Europe

Tackling Early Leaving from Education and Training in Europe

This report looks at the subject of early leaving from education and training (ELET) from different angles, providing an overview of some of the main issues involved. It highlights the high costs for society of students leaving education and training early as well as the consequences for the individual. A higher level of education, on the other hand, can lead to a series of positive outcomes for the individual as well as society related to employment, higher salaries, better health, less crime, higher social cohesion, lower public and social costs and higher productivity and growth.

The report confirms that early leaving represents a complex challenge at individual, national and European levels. Young people who leave education and training early are often both socially and economically disadvantaged compared to those who stay on and gain the necessary qualifications to help them succeed in life. To address this situation it is vital to recognise that while early leaving is, on the surface, an issue for education and training systems, its underlying causes are embedded in wider social and political contexts.

Early leaving is fundamentally shaped by countries’ broader policies for the economy, employment, social affairs, health and so on. Improvements in educational attainment and employment levels of young people therefore also rely on improvements in the socio-economic climate – on higher economic growth, measures to combat poverty and improve health, and the effective integration of migrants and minorities into society. Only a comprehensive approach to tackling early leaving, therefore, can be effective and sustainable.

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