The Opportunities of Youth in NEET-Status Due to Discontinued Education to Enter Employment or to Continue Education as Seen by Youth

by M R Züger, MA candidate,  University of Tartu

The unemployment rate is highest among people with lower secondary education or less: based on data from Statistics Estonia the unemployment rate was 21,1% among people with lower secondary education and 27,5% among people with less. The goal of this paper is to describe how NEET-youth interpret their educational path until now and plan their future in relation to education and work. The analysis shows that the youth have short-term plans for future, but no long-term plans, just dreams. They have hard time entering labour market. The youth see external factors as cause for dropping out of education: illness, financial reasons, having a baby or bad environment at school. The work and living situation of this youth has been inconsistent which hasn’t supported completing education and achieving goals they have set for themselves. NEET-youth feel that free courses provided by the UIF would help them acquire some profession, which would enable them to find a job fast. However, taking part in such course would still mean expenses for them (transportation, food, babysitter etc.). The interviewees stress that having a job would grant financial stability, which in turn would enable them to return to education either to acquire upper secondary education or profession. They see continuing their educational path rather as a priority, but realizing this aspiration is closely dependent to familial and financial conditions.


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