There are still more than a million young people not in education, employment or training (Neet) in England, despite a dip in the numbers. Some 17% of 16 to 24-year-olds were without jobs or college places in the three months to September 2012, according to official data. This is down 136,000 or two percentage points on last year. This is from the BBC…
The government welcomed the fall but said the numbers remained too high.
The figures, from the Department for Education (DfE), for those over school age (19- to 24-year olds) are down on 2011 but higher than they were two years ago.
They show that over-18s are worst affected – with almost a fifth of 19-24-year-olds (19.6%) classified as Neet this summer.
This figure is down from 21.5% last year but up from 18.6% in summer 2010.
A DfE spokesman welcomed the fall in numbers compared with the same time last year but added: “There is no room for complacency as the number of young people who are Neet is still too high. We will continue to tackle this.
“We are spending a record £7.5bn on education and training for 16- to 19-year-olds. We are also spending over £3.8bn on adult further education, with an increased focus on young people and the unemployed.
“Our Youth Contract is also providing a range of extra targeted support for 16- and 24-year-olds who are Neet to help get them back on track.
“Our reforms will create a world-class education system that will equip young people properly for both higher education and skilled, sustainable employment.”
The charity Barnardo’s welcomed the figures but called on the government to widen the scope of Youth Contract training to a broader group of young people. At the moment it is limited to those without any GCSEs above a D grade.
Both employers, unions and politicians agreed more needed to be done to support young people.