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As highlighted in the OECD Action Plan for Youth, successful engagement of young people in the labour market is crucial not only for their own personal economic prospects and well-being, but also for overall economic growth and social cohesion. Therefore, investing in youth is a policy priority in all countries, including Korea, requiring concerted action to develop education systems and labour market arrangements that work well together.

Following the launch of the OECD Action Plan for Youth in May 2013, the OECD is working closely with countries to implement the plan’s comprehensive measures in their national and local contexts and to provide peer-learning opportunities for countries to share their experience of policy measures to improve youth employment outcomes. This work builds on the extensive country reviews that the OECD has carried out previously on the youth labour market and vocational education and training (Jobs for Youth, Learning for Jobs and Skills beyond School), as well as on the OECD Skills Strategy.

The present report on Korea is the eleventh of the series “Investing in Youth”, which builds on the expertise of the OECD on youth employment, social support and skills. This series covers OECD countries and key emerging economies. The report presents new results from a comprehensive analysis of the situation of young people in Korea, exploiting various sources of survey-based and administrative data. It provides a detailed assessment of education, employment and social policies in Korea from an international perspective, and offers tailored recommendations to help improve the school-to-work transition. Additional information related to this review can be found on the OECD website (

This review is the work of the Social Policy Division of the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs. Sarah Kups and Veerle Miranda (project leader) prepared the report, under the supervision of Monika Queisser (Head of the Social Policy Division). Lucy Hulett and Lauren Thwaites provided editorial support. The report benefited from useful comments provided by Mark Pearson (Deputy Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs) as well as by staff in the OECD Economics Department and the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills.

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