Prolonged periods out of employment, education or training may harm the well-being of young people and lower their long-term economic prospects. The Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE), now replaced by the Department of Education and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, was interested in learning about education and pre-employment interventions targeting 12-16 year-olds that could be applied in the Australian context to reduce the risk of young people becoming NEET (i.e. not in employment, education or training).

The Department tasked the Youth and Diversity Team of the OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (ELS) and the Skills Analysis Division of the Centre for Skills (SKC) to provide an overview of good practices of education and pre-employment interventions in other OECD countries, with a particular focus on evidence-based practices. The Department was also interested in policy recommendations on data collection and evaluation systems to facilitate the monitoring and evaluation of interventions.

This report fits within the broader effort of the OECD to improve the school-to-work transition and create better opportunities for young people in OECD countries. Successful engagement of young people in the labour market and society is indeed crucial not only for their own personal economic prospects and well-being, but also for overall economic growth and social cohesion.

The report was jointly prepared by Sarah Kups (ELS at the time of writing the report), Helke Seitz, Irina Vogel and Sarah Wildi (SKC), under the supervision of Veerle Miranda (ELS) and Francesca Borgonovi (SKC) and the senior leadership of Stefano Scarpetta (Director of ELS), Monika Queisser (Head of the Social Policy Division in ELS) and El Iza Mohamedou (Head of SKC). Valuable input was provided by Hlodver Hakonarson and Lina Tafur (both interns at ELS at the time of writing the report). Hanna Varkki (ELS) provided editorial support.

The report benefitted from a series of exchanges and discussions with representatives of the Department of Education and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations in Australia, who also commented on earlier versions of the report.

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