Press release

All 9 regions of England see fall in 16- to 18-year-olds NEET

New figures show the number of 16- to 18-year-olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) is falling across all regions of England.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Work experience

Today Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock welcomed new figures showing the number of 16- to 18-year-olds not in education, employment or training is falling in all 9 regions of England, equating to thousands more young people in education, employment or training.

The 2013 figures, drawn from data collected by local authorities, show that for 16- to 18-year-olds the number of NEETs compared to the previous year fell by:

  • 19% in London
  • 12% in the North West
  • 9% in the North East
  • 9% in the East of England
  • 7% in the South East
  • 5% in the South West

These figures come after data published last week shows that for England in the first quarter of 2014 (January to March) compared to the same period in 2013:

  • there are 774,000 16- to 24-year-olds who are NEET (13.1%) - this is down 135,000 (2 percentage points) on last year, and is the lowest rate for this quarter since 2005
  • there are 122,000 16- to 18-year-olds NEET (6.7%) - this is down 29,000 (1.5 percentage points) on last year, and is the lowest since comparable data began in 2001
  • there are 652,000 19- to 24-year-olds NEET - this is down 105,000 (2.3 percentage points) on last year, and is the lowest since 2008

In England overall, today’s data shows the number of NEETs down from 100,930 in 2012 to 93,030 in 2013, a fall of 9%. Today’s data is based on figures supplied by local authorities, so differs from the statistics based on the Labour Force Survey published last week.

As part of the government’s commitment to giving young people the best start in life, local authorities are required to track their participation in education, employment and training. Today’s figures also show local authorities are becoming more effective at this, with a drop of more than 25,000 whose activity is not known to local authorities since the previous year.

This rise follows Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock writing to underperforming local authorities to encourage them to properly keep track of the levels of participation in their areas.

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said:

I am delighted to see even more young people in education, employment and training. This shows that introducing rigour and reform into education and training is giving young people the skills they need to enter the world of work or further education.

This further shows that our long-term economic plan is securing young people’s future. Our catalogue of reforms, including improving apprenticeships and ensuring young people must continue in education or training to age 18, is designed to give them the best possible start.

The government has a package of measures to offer those leaving school the best possible start in life. This includes:

  • scrapping low-quality vocational qualifications in favour of courses proven to deliver the skills employers demand
  • introducing a new, more rigorous curriculum and qualifications, ensuring proper preparation for further and higher education, and work
  • a £30 million package of youth engagement and fair chance funds designed to improve the prospects of up to 20,000 vulnerable young people
  • a new programme of traineeships to help those aged 16 to 23 (inclusive) to develop the skills and vital experience they need to secure apprenticeships and other sustainable jobs
  • spending £7.2 billion in 2014 to 2015 to fund an education or training place for every 16- or 17-year-old who wants one
  • encouraging schools and colleges to use employers to mentor and inspire young people towards ambitious careers, as part of revamped careers guidance
  • raising the participation age (RPA) so that all young people in England are now required to continue in education or training beyond the age of 16

Notes to editors

  1. View today’s local authority NEET statistics.
  2. Today’s data is an estimate drawn from the participation databases maintained by local authorities. These are used to record young people’s post-16 activities as part of local authorities’ duties to encourage young people to participate in education or training.
  3. Today’s data differs from the NEET data published on 22 May, which was based on data from the Labour Force Survey between January and March 2014. Today’s data is based on figures from the participation databases maintained by local authorities. These are used to record young people’s post-16 activities as part of local authorities’ duties to encourage young people to participate in education, employment and training.

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Published 28 May 2014