It’s doubtful they’ll produce any headlines, as like the figures for youth unemployment they show a further (if slight) fall. 11.7% of all 16-24 year olds in England are NEET compared with 12.3% a year previously – this figure is still above the average for OECD.
The figures also show a 2% point rise in the number of 16 year old NEETs – up to 3.4% Considering participation in education or training to 18 is now mandatory, this is extremely disappointing and suggests that the curriculum changes at KS4 – a move towards more ‘academically rigorous’ learning are having a negative effect on the ability of more young people to make effective transitions.
Other research by Impetus-PEF has also shown that official figures do not allow for the large number of ‘temporary NEETs’, young people (1.3 million out of 7 million) who ‘spend up to 6 months out of education, employment or training.
This research also shows that only 1 in 5 of those leaving the NEET category do so for at least a year. This is an example of what sociologists call ‘churning’ – the continued moving in and out of employment, from one job to another. Churning is an increasing feature of a labour market that depends on a growing number of temporary and badly bad jobs and it isn’t surprising that it effects young people most.