New reports available on transition from school to labour market

Graduates during COVID-19 pandemic more satisfied with completed course than their predecessors

MBO and HBO graduates were more satisfied with their education completed in 2019-2020 a year and a half after graduation compared to one cohort year earlier, despite having graduated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides that, more graduates believe that their completed studies provided a good basis for starting in the job market. This and more is shown in the annual school-leavers survey by Maastricht University's Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).

Early school leavers

The survey shows that the majority of early school leavers from school year 2019-2020 cited school-related causes or (mental) health problems as the main reason for dropping out. Only 2% of early school leavers explicitly state that COVID-19 was the main reason for dropping out. However, according to the researchers, the pandemic may also have played a role in other reasons for dropping out early. Compared to one cohort year earlier, a higher proportion of early school leavers are working in autumn 2021. They are also studying less frequently. It therefore follows that early school leavers are now less likely to resume their studies and more likely to be in undeclared work. Despite a decrease compared to one cohort year earlier, the majority of early school leavers continue to plan to return to education, although the vast majority of these do not yet know when and/or which education.

School-leaving graduates

Graduates of school year 2019-2020 were less likely to be unemployed a year and a half after graduation than graduates of one cohort year earlier. The survey also shows that a higher proportion of HAVO and VWO graduates opted for further education than one cohort year earlier. Thus, a so-called gap year was chosen less often than before. The fact that qualified school-leavers are more satisfied with their completed studies, despite the fact that they were completed during the COVID-19 pandemic, does not necessarily mean that the pandemic did not have a negative impact. ROA research as part of the National Cohort Study on Education (NCO) in primary schools previously showed that the pandemic had a negative effect on the development of cognitive skills of schoolchildren.

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