People who leave school prematurely are defined as pupils who leave the state-funded education system without a basic qualification. A basic qualification is a diploma or degree at at least secondary level (havo, vwo or mbo level 2). These levels are seen as the minimum requirement to embark successfully on a labour market career.
The data used for this article are based on direct throughflow and outflow data in state-funded education between 1 October 2004 and 1 October 2005, i.e. outflow in school year 2004/’05. This is also called the annual increase in premature school-leavers (or school drop-outs). Pupils who dropped out of school before this period are not included. Also, drop-outs who return to education are still counted as drop-outs for this article.
The figures refer to pupils in general secondary education and secondary vocational education who were younger than 23 years on 30 September 2005 and who were entered in a municipal population register on 30 September 2004 and 30 September 2005. The article is not intended to give the total numbers of premature school-leavers in the Netherlands, but to give an insight into how many of them find a job on the basis of various registrations.