New figures show 135,000 fewer young people not in education, employment or training since last year.
Figures released today show that the proportion of young people aged 16 to 24 not in education, employment or training (NEET) is at the lowest comparable level since 2005 - with the percentage of teenagers NEET at its lowest since records began.
The figures, published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Education (DfE), show 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
The figures also show that 94.2% of 16- and 17-year-olds are participating in education and training, the highest comparable participation rate since consistent records began in 2001.
The number of 19- to 24-year-olds who have been unemployed for more than 6 months also decreased by 20,000 while those unemployed for less than 6 months fell by 32,000 in the first quarter of 2014 compared to figures from January to March 2013.
Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said:
I am delighted to see that the number of young people not in education, employment or training is at its lowest level since 2005.
The figures released today show the progress being made to ensure that all young people are equipped with the skills that allow them to begin productive and prosperous careers. I am particularly pleased to see that the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds who are NEET, is at the lowest level since records began.
This is further evidence that our long-term economic plan is securing young people’s future.
Every young person should be given the chance to reach their potential, whether that is through studying or training, embarking on an apprenticeship or traineeship or entering the world of work. Today’s figures show that more and more young people that were previously held back from reaching their full potential are now in work or developing skills that will allow them to become valued employees.
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