‘Higher-educated employees twice as likely to advance skills while working’

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More than half of Dutch employees continue their education by taking outside courses while holding down jobs, the national statistics office CBS said on Monday.

The figures were obtained from the Adult Education Survey, a project carried out by the CBS for Eurostat, the EU statistics office.

The survey shows that 54% of Dutch workers followed advanced courses and seminars, a figure only topped in Europe by the Swiss. The figure was below 50% in all other European countries.

About 66% of people with a college or university degree took work-related courses while in paid employment, compared to only 30% for those with vocational training. There was little difference in age groups but the under-45s tended to take outside courses more often and women outnumbered men.

A full 80% said their main motive for taking these courses was to improve their performance at work and just 6% said they took outside courses because they wanted to start their own businesses.

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