The latest figures for NEETs (‘Young people not in education, employment or training’) are now available.
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.