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The Work Foundation - Positive NEET statistics disguise the real labour market challenges young people continue to face

Commenting on yesterday's Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) statistics released by the ONS, Lizzie Crowley, head of youth unemployment programmes at The Work Foundation, said:

“Figures out today for young people Not in Employment Education or Training (NEET) suggest that the economic recovery is finally beginning to have a positive impact on the youth labour market. We have seen an overall fall of 38,000 in the NEET figures compared to the previous quarter, 26,000 of which were young people who were classed as unemployed.

“Yet, NEET levels remain stubbornly high with over a million young people still not in either work or training. We also know from the evidence that this is only part of the picture. Many young people have been ‘sheltering’ from poor economic conditions in further education, in some cases in courses with very little labour market value and significant numbers are underemployed – in part time work when they would prefer a full time job.”

On the
deputy prime minister’s announcement yesterday on higher education, Lizzie said:

“Good quality careers advices and guidance is essential if young people are to be supported to make effective decisions about training or further education options. Getting this right should help prevent young people from becoming NEET in the first place. The deputy prime minister’s announcement to provide better careers advice is welcome but this still doesn’t address the fundamental problem that already overstretched schools need dedicated funding to improve careers services.”

Notes to editors

1. Lizzie Crowley, head of youth unemployment programmes, and Ian Brinkley, chief economist are both available for interviews, briefings and written comment.
2. The Work Foundation aims to be the leading independent, international authority on work and its future, influencing policy and practice for the benefit of society. The Work Foundation is part of Lancaster University – an alliance that enables both organisations to further enhance their impact.

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