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Young people NEET hits record low

The proportion of young people NEET fell across all summary age groups and was the lowest on record for 16-18 year olds

The Department for Education has released statistics on young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) and young people not in education or training (NET) from three data sources covering England, and are based on academic age.

New figures show the number of 16- to 18-year-olds not in education, employment or training is at its lowest recorded level.

The data sources are:

  1. Participation Statistical First Release (SFR)
  2. Quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS)
  3. Local Authorities’ Client Caseload Information System (CCIS)

The proportion of young people NEET fell across all summary age groups and was the lowest on record for 16-18 year olds. The 16-18 NEET rate fell by 0.6 percentage points to 7.5% in April to June 2015 compared to the same period last year and is the lowest April to June figure since comparable data began in 2000. The 19-24 NEET fell 0.3 percentage points (to 15.7%) over the same period and the overall 16-24 rate fell by 0.4 percentage points (to 13.1%).

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Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

“Today we have yet more evidence this government is delivering on its commitment to get all young people either learning or into work.

“While the proportion of young people NEET is at its lowest for this time of the year since 2004, we will not stop there.

“Our focus remains firmly on equipping all young people with the skills they need – not least through our pledge to deliver 3 million new apprenticeships in this Parliament.”

The proportion of those not in education or training (NET) fell slightly for the 16-18 and 16-24 summary age groups. The proportion of 16-18 year olds NET fell by 0.4 percentage points in the last year (to 15.7%) and was 13.1 percentage points lower than the highest point in 2003. The 19-24 NET remained roughly the same at 60.1%. The overall 16-24 NET fell by 0.1 percentage points (to 46.2%) which is 3.7 percentage point lower than the highest point in 2006.

Kirstie Donnelly, UK Managing Director of City & Guilds said:

“It’s positive to see a fall in NEET numbers across all age groups, and I imagine many will cheer these figures. But the reality is that more than 15 per cent of young people are still out of work and not in education or training. On top of last week’s disappointing unemployment figures, this remains incredibly concerning.

“The media today will rightly celebrate the achievements of young people in their GCSEs, and for many people, today marks a first step towards achieving the career they want. Yet at the same time, scores of teenagers remain in danger of falling through the cracks. At the heart of this is a consistent failure to prepare young people for the workplace of the future and train them for the jobs that actually exist in their areas. We need to get far better at using labour market information and up-to-date data on skills gaps to shape careers advice, in order to make the term ‘NEET’ a thing of the past.”

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