Gütersloh (dpa / lnw) – Every year, thousands of young people in North Rhine-Westphalia finish their schooling without having obtained at least a secondary school diploma. In 2021 there were almost 9,700 young people, which corresponds to a share of 5.9 percent. With this rate, NRW was slightly below the national average (6.2 percent), according to a study by education researcher Klaus Klemm on behalf of the Bertelsmann Foundation, which was published on Monday.

Only in Baden-Württemberg (5.8 percent), Hesse (5.3) and Bavaria (5.1) was the proportion lower in 2021 than in NRW. It was highest in Bremen at 10.0 percent. There were also clear differences within North Rhine-Westphalia: the range was from 2.8 percent (Bottrop) to 9.6 percent (Gelsenkirchen) in the cities, and from 3.4 percent (Warendorf district) to 8.3 percent in the districts (district of Olpe).

Similar to the development across Germany, the rate has remained fairly constant in the most populous federal state in recent years. In NRW it was always 5.6 to 6.5 percent between 2011 and 2021.

“In view of the growing shortage of skilled workers, our society cannot afford to let these people fall through the cracks,” Klemm is quoted as saying by the foundation. According to the nationwide survey, boys leave school more often than girls and foreign young people more often than Germans without a qualification.