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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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Focus on vocational education and training (VET) programmes

In 2012, in more than one-third of OECD countries, over half of all upper secondary students participated in pre-vocational or vocational programmes but less than 30% of those students were exposed to work‑based learning. Countries with well-established and high-quality vocational and apprenticeship programmes have improved youth employment opportunities. However, in many OECD countries, the share of young people who are neither employed, nor in education or training (NEET) is still higher for graduates from upper secondary VET than from upper secondary general programmes. Students who enter vocational programmes are less likely to graduate than those who are enrolled in general programmes. Moreover, they are nearly five times less likely to enrol in further education than graduates from general secondary schools with similar proficiency in literacy.

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