Pacific governments are being urged to make changes to secondary school curriculums to encourage more young people to continue their education.
A global report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation on youth skills highlights the importance of second chance programmes for students who drop out of school.
The officer in charge at the UNESCO Pacific office says there are too few secondary school places for the number of Pacific students finishing primary school, something she attributes in part to a lack of government funding.
But Susan Vize says many students, especially in rural areas, don't see the point of going beyond primary school.
"There's an issue with the fact that the secondary schools tend to be rather academically focused and they don't necessarily have a lot of emphasis on critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, technical skills or job-related skills."
Susan Vize says some Pacific Island countries are trying to integrate more vocational subjects into the school curriculum but that is happening quite slowly.