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Some Aspects of Early School Leaving in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland


  • Margareta Cederberg,

  • Nanny Hartsmar

Margareta Cederberg, Malmö University, Hälsa och samhälle, 205 06 Malmö, Sweden,,

Nanny Hartsmar, Malmö University, Lärande och samhälle, 205 06 Malmö, Sweden,,


This article describes early school leaving in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, using examples to show a complex representation of early school leaving and its consequences for young people's subsequent access to the labour market. We show how measures taken by governments and school authorities in the respective countries have resulted in improvements for students in their transition from school to work. However, we also show that an educational system per se can create problems for both individuals and groups. Early school leaving increases the risk of unemployment, and if when permanent, about two years are spent out of school unemployed between the ages 16 and -20 this, increases the risk of the young person being marginalised and having health and social problems later in life.