70 thousand unskilled young people are out of work

© Hollandse Hoogte
Of the 181 thousand young people aged 15 to 26 years who dropped out of education without obtaining a basic qualification, there were 70 thousand who were out of work in 2019. This is a relatively high share compared to those who did obtain a basic qualification. Common reasons for not working are illness and disability. Among the unskilled, those in employment often work at lower occupational skill levels than their peers with basic qualifications. Of the 625 thousand young people who are not in education but who do have a basic qualification, 66 thousand are out of work. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this in the CBS Youth Monitor.

Nearly 32 thousand unskilled people aged 15 to 26 who are neither in work nor in education are willing to work, but unable to find a job. Nearly 39 thousand of the 70 thousand young people who left education without a basic qualification and do not have a job, indicate that they are unwilling or unable to work. Of this group, 23 thousand say this is due to illness or disability.

As relatively many young dropouts are unable or unwilling to find work, net labour participation in this group is lower than among young people who have basic qualifications and are not in education. The shares were 61.1 and 89.5 percent respectively in 2019.

Unskilled young people (15 to 26 yrs), not in education and not in paid work, 2019
 Men (x 1,000)Women (x 1,000)
Available, were not looking53
Not available, were looking32
Not available, not looking but willing to work44
Unwilling or unable to work
Illness, disability1311

Young people without basic qualifications have relatively low occupational skill levels

Not only is the employment rate among unskilled young people who are not in education relatively low, they are also more likely to work at a lower occupational level than their skilled peers who are not in education. Of the young men and women who dropped out of education without obtaining a basic qualification, 91 and 87 percent respectively were working at the lower occupational levels 1 and  2 in 2019. Occupations at this level include freight handlers, shelf stackers, retail sales staff, waiters and bar staff.

Of the men with basic qualifications, 58 percent were working at either occupational level 1 or 2. Of the women with basic qualifications, more than half (54 percent) were working at the higher occupational levels 3 and 4. These include a large variety of occupations, including social workers, group facilitators, sheltered housing supervisors, marketing, PR and sales consultants, specialised nurses and primary school teachers.

Occupational level of young people not in education (15 to 26 yrs), 2019
   Occ. level 1 (low) (%)Occ. level 2 (%)Occ. level 3 (%)Occ. level 4 (high) (%)Unknown (%)