U.S. and Foreign Strategies for Preparing Noncollege Youth for Employment

T-HRD-90-31: Published: Jun 14, 1990. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 1990.

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GAO discussed the preparation of noncollege youth in the United States and four foreign countries. GAO found that: (1) the United States fails to prepare noncollege youth for employment, equip them with necessary literacy skills, and provide them an effective transition from school to work; (2) 20 percent of young U.S. adults read below the eighth-grade level; (3) many children, primarily from low-income families, are not ready for school entry or fall behind in school and are not adequately helped to catch up; (4) about half of U.S. youth go on to college after high school, but many of the other half receive inadequate preparation for employment; (5) second chance programs reach only modest proportions of youth needing employment and training assistance; (6) the countries GAO reviewed have national policies to develop a well-qualified noncollege youth work force; (7) in those foreign countries, school officials generally try to give all young people an even start; (8) the countries try to smooth the transition from school to work for noncollege youth; (9) two of the countries maintain occupational quality by testing and certification to meet national standards; and (10) the foreign countries generally provide extensive assistance to jobless youth.

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