30,8 percent of Turkish youth neither working nor studying

Eurostat’s latest survey on young people neither in employment nor in education or training (NEET) has revealed that 30,8 percent of Turkish youth between the ages 18-24 are completely idle, BBC Turkish service reported on Saturday.

The survey was conducted in 34 countries, with Turkey coming in 33rd after Macedonia, where 32 percent of young people are NEETs.

Turkey topped the list for young women between the ages 18-24 who were neither working nor studying at 43,6 percent, whereas second-placed Macedonia came in at 32.2 percent.

Only 18,2 percent of young men in Turkey are in the NEET category. The European Union average for NEET is 14,3 percent, with 13,9 percent for young men and 14,7 percent for young women.

Italy comes first among EU countries with 25,7 percent of its young population doing nothing, while the Netherlands is last on the list with 5,3 percent of its young population idle.

Only 4,1 percent of non-EU member Iceland’s young generation is neither working nor receiving education or training.

The quality of education in Turkey also lags behind the benchmarks of the other 36 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the OECD has warned in a recent report.

“Equity and quality in education continue to be seen as a challenge by Turkey, which has set several key priorities, such as improving access and completion of upper secondary education, addressing the needs of disadvantaged students and improving equity between regions,” states the OECD’s Education Policy Outlook 2018 report, which was released on June 11.

“Providing education facilities and services to Syrians with temporary protection in Turkey is another key target reported,” it adds.

The enrolment rate of three-year-olds in early childhood education and care also has been pointed to as very low in Turkey compared to other OECD countries. The average rate of children attending pre-primary educational institutions among OECD countries is 77,8 percent, while it hovers at just 11,7 percent in Turkey.

The report also questions the quality of education in Turkey, stating that a much-needed increase in this field would help lift economic productivity. “Turkey needs to address the high levels of skills mismatch and many small entrepreneurs and workers need basic upskilling, as low skills inhibit the growth of productivity and incomes” the report states. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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