Half of school drop-outs find a job after leaving school

According to Statistics Netherlands’ education yearbook (available in Dutch only) half of children leaving school before receiving a diploma did find a job after dropping out. Relatively more drop-outs from secondary vocational education (mbo) found work than those leaving general secondary education. One in four children leaving school prematurely with a job earn less than the minimum wage.

One in twenty secondary school pupils drop out of school

In school year 2004/’05, 1.2 million children were in secondary and secondary vocational education in the Netherlands. One year later about one in twenty had left school prematurely, i.e. without a basic qualification. In September 2005, 55 percent of these drop-outs had a paid job.

School drop-outs with a paid job after leaving school, 2005*


More mbo drop-outs have paid work

Pupils who dropped out of the practical apprenticeship-based stream of mbo (mbo-bbl) were more likely to have a job (78 percent) than pupils leaving the more theory-based mbo stream (mbo-bol) and general secondary education (58 percent and 35 percent respectively).

One in four earn less than half of minimum wage

More than one third of premature school-leavers with a paid job earned more than 1.2 times the minimum wage for his/her age in September 2005. By contrast one quarter earned less than half the minimum youth wage. One reason for this may be that they do not work full-time. School drop-outs from general secondary education usually had a lower monthly wage than those who had left mbo. 

Income from work after leaving school prematurely, 2005*


Most jobs in trade and business services

Most school drop-outs worked in the trade sector (29 percent) and business services (30 percent), and to a lesser extent in hotels and restaurants (10 percent).

Sector of work of premature school-leavers, 2005*


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