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Education Indicators in Focus

Education Indicators in Focus is a recurring series of briefs that highlight specific indicators in OECD’s Education at a Glance that are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners. They provide a detailed look into current issues in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, higher education, and adult outcomes from a global perspective, and contain an engaging mix of text, tables and charts that describe the international context of the most pressing questions in education policy and practice.

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Does Upper Secondary Vocational Education and Training Improve the Prospects of Young adults?

  • One-third of the population of OECD countries hold an upper secondary vocational education and training (VET) qualification as their highest educational attainment, and it is estimated that nearly half will graduate from a VET programme in their lifetime.
  • Keeping up with technology developments in industry can be a costly endeavour, although partnering with employers can help to spread the cost of VET programmes.
  • While vocational qualifications offer young people a good chance of finding employment, they are sometimes seen as a second-class choice and limit their value in the labour market overall.
  • Countries need to ensure their vocational programmes offer all students the basic skills they need in the labour market and in life, as well as the opportunity to progress on to tertiary education if they wish.

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