Charity urges five-year plan on NEETs

The Government must develop a cross-departmental strategy to improve careers advice and school-to-work transitions if it is to prevent tens of thousands of young people becoming NEET over the next five years, a charity has warned.

Impetus-PEF estimates 120,000 young people born in 2000 are at risk of becoming NEET over the next five years.  Education and employment charity Impetus-PEF said it is “essential” that the government creates a five-year plan to help young people navigate their journey from school into further education, employment or training.  The call comes as latest government statistics show that the overall 16- to 24-year-old rate fell by 0.7 percentage points (to 12.3 per cent) for the period of January to March 2015 compared with the same period last year.

However the 16- to 18-year-old NEET rate rose by 0.3 percentage points to 7.1 per cent.  Impetus-PEF has estimated that more than 120,000 young people born in the year 2000 are at risk of ending up NEET (not in education, employment or training) over the next five years unless the government takes decisive action.  It wants greater emphasis on careers education in school as well as more co-ordinated and focused careers guidance post-education.

It also wants school-to-work transitions to be improved by making schools in England and Wales responsible for the post-16 destinations of their pupils, and for government-funded apprenticeships to be better focused on young people, with two thirds reserved for under 25-year-olds by 2020.  In addition, the charity wants to see every Jobcentre Plus in England and Wales employ specialist youth advisers to offer further support.

And it said local authorities must be “incentivised” to make an impact, pointing to the fact that statistics show that some local authorities achieve far more success than others in terms of reducing numbers of NEETs.

Daniela Barone Soares, chief executive of Impetus-PEF, said youth employment and training policy currently “falls between the cracks of different government departments”.

“It is essential that the key ministers in this new cabinet work together to deliver a cross-departmental strategy to help disadvantaged school leavers to successfully move forward with their careers,” she said. 

“The Department for Education, the Department for Work and Pensions, and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills must work together to find workable solutions to the problems affecting young people’s progress into sustained employment.”


Source: Children & Young People Now