Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of young people aged 18-24 who are not in education, employment or training has decreased by 5% since 2016, from 766,000 to 731,000.

Barinder Hothi, Managing Director of The Knowledge Academy, said: “It is reassuring that the number of young people not in education, employment or training is continuously declining every year.”

Though this is positive news regarding the UK’s productivity, The Knowledge Academy wanted to investigate further about where the UK ranks when compared to other European countries for the number of people with higher education qualifications and the employment rate of recent graduates.

According to the ONS report ‘Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), UK: March 2017’ the countries with the highest population of graduates are:

  1. Lithuania (58.7%)
  2. Luxembourg (54.6%)
  3. Cyprus (53.4%)
  4. Ireland (52.9%)
  5. Switzerland (51.2%)

The UK ranked 9th with 48.2%.

(% of people aged 30-34 who achieved higher education results)

Surprisingly, the countries with the highest percentage of young people employment soon after graduating and the countries who had a high number of students with higher education achievements were different entirely.

The top 5 countries for employment rates are:

  1. Malta (96.6%)
  2. Iceland (94.7%)
  3. Germany (90.1%)
  4. Netherlands (90.1%)
  5. Norway (90.1%)

The UK ranked 12th with 84.4%.

(% of graduates aged 20-34 employed soon after finishing their studies)

“The UK has a long way to go to reach the same level as the top countries with high percentages of people with post-secondary education qualifications and the number of young people employed after graduating,” said Hothi.

He added: “It would be interesting to see how many of these graduates’ work in the field they have graduated from; perhaps an indication of how long it takes for students to find jobs that may or may not be relevant to their undergraduate degree.”

David Lewis, managing director, integra people, warrington

 
 
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