1 young Walloon in 6 is neither a student or a worker

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 14:38
In Wallonia, one youngster aged 18 to 24 years old in six (16.4%) is a ‘NEET’ (not in education, employment or training).
Le Soir is reporting this on Tuesday. It says that the term, which designates amongst statisticians, someone who is neither a student, employed or in any form of training, covers the grey area between education and the world of work.

In Brussels, the situation is even more alarming for one in five youngsters aged 18 à 24 years (19.8%) in this position. By way of comparison, the equivalent indicator is 9.8% in Flanders.

Julien Nicaise, the Sociologist and Director of the ARES (Belgium’s Research and Higher Education Acedemy), says, “This is worrying as these tend to be youngsters without many short-term occupational prospects of value. The figures do indeed conceal citizens who are working for some months, before returning to education.

These are people who are at risk of becoming dependent upon the state. Yet, the recovery of Wallonia and Brussels in this sphere improves this data, and therefore that of our education system.”

Julien Nicaise stresses that, amongst NEETs, we find as a priority youngsters with a low level of school education. Indeed, one of the causes is those “leaving secondary school without a qualification.”

The finger is also pointed at the rate of those who repeat a year. The latter “very much leads to dropping out of school. This, in and of itself, may sustain the level of youngsters leaving compulsory education lacking qualifications.” He adds, "We must, of necessity, curb the rate of students who have to repeat years.”

He asserted that, so as to bring down the share of ‘NEETs’, “it would be sufficient to improve our pass rate for secondary qualifications and access to training by a few percentage points.”

Oscar Schneider
The Brussels Times
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