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Early school leavers [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for early school leavers.

Did you leave school early? Or do you know someone who might? Leaving school without qualifications may seem a personal choice, yet around 6.4 million young people in Europe are in the same situation. School can seem too difficult or irrelevant and other problems may make walking out seem like the thing to do. Yet young people who leave school early are less likely to find a job, will probably earn less, might miss out on some benefits of technology, and can have more health problems later on.

© Monkey Business / Fotolia

This is not always the case, but as the risks are high, the EU has made it its business to work on the situation. It brought education ministers together to agree to bring down the share of early school leavers in the EU to less than 10 % by 2020. Member States will need to try different solutions to achieve this result, so the EU offers support by helping them exchange experiences. In this way they can learn from each other which changes are more likely to produce good results. It is also monitoring results so Member States can understand how well they are doing.

You may feel all this is too late for you now, but if you regret not having much to show for your skills, and if you wish to improve them further, it’s never too late to go to your local job office or education authority. The EU developed the Youth Guarantee to help Member States give people a second chance, not necessarily in a classroom, but possibly even in a workplace setting. Tools are also being developed to recognise the skills you might have developed outside school in a way future employers are likely to appreciate.

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