Expenditure on education and training allows to evaluate policies implemented for the growth and optimization of human capital. Its incidence on GDP in in 2015 was 4.0 percent; while that of public final consumption expenditure on education was 3.5 percent.
The education level of the population aged 25-64 makes a good proxy for the knowledge and skills of the population. Over the last years, the education level of the adult population continued to improve, and in the 2004-2017 period the share of people aged 25-64 who have achieved lower secondary education as their highest qualification decresed by over 12 percentage points. In 2015 over half of young people aged 15-24 are involved in higher education courses, although their share decreased over 2014. Updating of knowledge and lifelong learning are considered important to be integrated into the labour market, in 2017 involved 7.9 percent of people aged 25-64.
Europe Strategy 2020 set some objectives for the population education levels, which our country has already partially reached.
The percentage of early school leavers in Italy in 2017, albeit slightly upwards due to the contribution of the male component, stabilised at 14.0 percent, thus surpassing the national target of 16 percent set for 2020. In the same year, the percentage of people aged 30-34 who achieved a tertiary qualification rose to 26.9, thanks to the contribution of the female component.
Finally, young people aged 15-29 who are not in education, employment or training were nearly 2,2 million (24.1 percent of the relative population, down for the third consecutive year), with a higher incidence among women than men.