In Spain, 17% of the population neither studies nor works. A figure above the OECD average of 15%. So why is this happening? For years, Spain has suffered from a persistent misfortune: it remains one of the European countries with the highest percentage of young people aged 18 to 24 who neither study nor work.
At 17%, it is above the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 15%, according to the latest Education at a Glance 2023 report.
Among EU countries, the Czech Republic, Italy and Romania have higher percentages (31%, 24% and 22% respectively), while Greece has a similar percentage to Spain. On the other side of the scale are Sweden, Norway and Germany, where the percentage of inactive people is below 10%.
While some countries have compulsory education until the age of 18, in Spain it is 16.
There are two different profiles: the inactive and the unemployed. They all neither study nor work, but there are some who are desperately looking for work and others who don't. Spain's data, in terms of their numbers, fell below 20% in 2017, then to 19% in 2021 and to 17% in 2022.
The data shows that the trend has been positive over the past decade and the 2022 figure is one of the best since 2008, according to the OECD analyst. While Spain is still struggling to get down the rankings, other EU countries have been boasting their numbers for years.
The problem of the Southern European country is both the unstable labor market and the education that is sometimes abandoned too early, but the secret of other countries is precisely to pay attention to the development of students in the classroom.
Another reason emphasized by the experts is that e.g. Sweden has legislation that makes municipalities responsible for following up on school dropouts, and special upper secondary programs, or vocational colleges, for students who don't have good enough grades for more. traditional university programs.
France is another example of a country that pays special attention to education. They are trying to help students in areas where there are more dropouts by breaking the classes into smaller groups so they can help students more individually.
In addition, teachers who go to schools where there are more children at risk of dropping out are paid more. This focus on teachers is also seen in other countries with lower dropout rates, where more experienced teachers are sent to certain schools, a lesson Spain could perhaps learn.