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Dr Paul Sissons
Senior Researcher
T 020 7976 3621
Dr Paul Sissons

A NEET solution?

Authors: Dr Paul Sissons Dr Paul Sissons

22 February 2012

Yesterday (21 February) Nick Clegg announced further details of the NEET prevention strand of the Youth Contract. The £126 million scheme, which will be in England only, will focus on those 16 and 17 year olds with poor qualifications (without a GCSE at grade C or above) who are outside education, employment and training.

The target group is relatively small at 55,000 or so, but it is an important one. Often these are individuals who will leave school at 16, but will not be entitled to benefits. They can therefore be entirely outside the framework of support to move into employment. It is also a group who are often in need of significant help.

The programme will be delivered by private and voluntary sector organisations and it follows a payment-by-results formula, with contracts worth up to £2,200 for each teenager sustained in education or work for 12 months.

While payment-by-results has benefits, it is not just durations which matter. The quality of outcomes are also critically important. Training and education accessed must add genuine value and increase employability .While entries into low-wage jobs which lack progression can simply result in young people getting stuck in the low-wage/no-wage cycle. The provision available therefore needs to support these young people into sustainable careers. This is often not an easy task; it can require a number of different support services, and needs effective partnership working locally.

Overall, the provision of additional support for this group of NEETs is to be welcomed. The question is, in the context of a weak labour market and changing incentives to remain in education for some, is it enough?

The Work Foundation are currently running two projects which seek to explore sustainable transitions into employment for young people. We will be publishing new research in April, funded by the Private Equity Foundation, which analyses changes in the NEET cohort. We are also currently running a youth unemployment consortium programme,  The Missing Million, which will provide recommendations for how we can bring down youth unemployment in the short-term, as well as examining how we can move to a longer-term model of lower rates of youth unemployment.


Comments in Chronological Order (Total 6 Comments)

Brendan Caffrey

24 Feb 2012 2:16PM

What about no pay, and living on Job Seekers Allowance whilst stacking shelves, or working for a charity, or an internship?

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01 May 2014 4:07PM

This is a very good step to increase the level of education for the young men who decided the school at a young age. This is very useful for their life in the future

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27 May 2014 11:15AM

It will be a good opportunity for those who are old and have less educational qualifications to get into mainstream job. This will help them to make a career of their own and start earning for themselves. This will be a very good financial support for them.

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16 Jul 2014 8:12AM

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15 Aug 2014 11:52PM

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15 Jan 2015 11:12PM

Sounds like a good initiative. I think business studies, teaching people how to setup their own businesses is another thing that could be very helpful.