The LFS (labour force survey) microdata show high values for the incidence of working students (that is people who wish to complete or continue higher education when working or people who try to develop their education or training or to acquire specific skills) on total employment: in 2005 for the 15-24 age class, it was around 30%, whereas for the 25-29 age class it was under 9%. The percentage of working students is higher for females than males.
For the 15-24 age class, the countries with the highest (above 60%) incidence of working students are Denmark and the Netherlands with the lowest in Luxembourg, Czech Republic and Slovakia (below 6%). These figures clearly show that, whereas the countries with the highest incidence of working students on employment have similar socio-economic conditions (Scandinavian countries and Germany), those in which this incidence is lowest have dissimilar elements.
For the 25-29 age class, the incidence ranges from the 0.2% of Luxembourg to the 21.8% of Denmark. In Europe, one out of two working students aged 15-24 have a part-time contract (for young people not in education the incidence of part-timers is only one out of nine). This percentage is higher for women and drops when passing to the next age class. In some countries, part-time seems the only way for people aged 15-24 to reconcile study with work: in the Netherlands and Sweden more than
85% of working students are part-timers, in Denmark and the UK more than 70%. Working students tend to have more temporary contracts (55.1% of working students against 25.6% of young not in education). The main reasons why working students have temporary contracts are linked to alternating school-work pathways or the fact that temporary work can often be a way to earn money to continue studying.