Young people who drop out of high school are unlikely to have the minimum skills and credentials necessary to function in today's increasingly complex society and technological workplace.
Early school leavers are between three and four times more likely to be unemployed than those who hold higher educational qualifications.
A research study, undertaken before the current economic crisis, reveals that those who leave school early tend to hold less skilled jobs and, as a consequence, earn lower wages (ESRI Economic and Social Research Institute on behalf of Barnardos).
In addition, early leavers are much more likely to become lone parents and have poorer health than those with higher qualifications.
Leaving school early reinforces existing social and economic inequality, because those who decide to give up formal education tend to come from working class backgrounds.
The research study warns that targeting resources on disadvantaged schools is not enough to counter education inequality. There is a need for “joined-up” policy between education, health and welfare services to address children’s overall needs. Source: ‘Written Out, Written Off’, Irish Time, May 13th 2009