This report, based on the findings from the 2006 Annual School Leavers' Survey, gives an insight into the position, experiences and attitudes of school leavers one year after leaving second-level. The survey highlights trends (since 1980) in the circumstances of young people leaving school. It also identifies those at risk of unemployment during this early after-school period. Key Findings The 2006 School Leavers' Survey finds no improvement in levels of second-level completion, which continue to remain at levels found in the early 1990s. At the same time, however, greater numbers of early leavers are accessing alternative education/training opportunities outside the official second-level system, such as Youthreach and FETAC courses. There is continuing growth in higher education entry with a majority of school leavers now progressing to third level. The immediate labour market experiences of young people leaving school early remain challenging, and they appear to face particular difficulty in securing their first job. Dr. Selina McCoy, one of the authors of the report, said "While the majority of school leavers make a successful transition to the labour market or further study after school, the experiences of those leaving school with lower levels of educational attainment are less positive. Such young people face increasing difficulty in accessing employment."
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