Barriers to Education, Young People, Attitudes Towards Education
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Students have to make important career decision after basic education (ninth grade), which is the last year of compulsory education in Georgia. Students have an option to complete secondary education (twelfth grade), or do a Vocational Education or leave school and try to find a job. Taking into account that students have limited access to career information and advice it is interesting to investigate if they make informed decision. The aim of this research was to identify the barriers to education that prevent students from education and their career choice after basic education. The survey was carried out with 320 young people who left school and focus groups were conducted with 24 participants. Participants were selected using convenience sampling. The findings show that young people had to make uninformed decisions after leaving school. Most made their decisions independently and had no relevant career counselling or labour market information. Although parents opposed their child’s desire to stop learning, many youth decided to leave their studies, because of the poor economic situation of their families, which forced them to start working early to earn an income. Most of the respondents were unemployed, however, and those who were employed worked at low-level positions with low incomes. Although most of the participants regret their decision about leaving education, their future plans are little-related to continuing education. Students who want to continue their studies tend to express their positive attitudes towards VET. They believe that one of the main reasons for their unemployment is a lack of skills and competencies. It is important to implement relevant interventions for this target group to help them to return to education for improving their career opportunities