Press release

New figures show sharp fall in number of young people NEET

The number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) for 2014's summer months returned to levels not seen since 2007.

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

young man

The number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) in England has fallen to its lowest level for the July to September period since 2007, according to official figures published today (20 November 2014).

The quarterly figures show a fall of 136,000 young people NEET compared to the same period last year, continuing a general downward trend under this government since 2011.

These figures show that in the third quarter of 2014 (July to September) compared to the same period in 2013 the proportion of:

  • 16- to 24-year-olds who were NEET had fallen by 2.2 percentage points to 15.4%, down 136,000 to the lowest number and rate since 2007
  • 19- to 24-year-olds who were NEET had fallen by 2.4 percentage points to 17.6%, a reduction of 107,000
  • 16- to 18-year-olds who were NEET had fallen by 1.6 percentage points to 10.6%, which is down by 29,000

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

These figures show our plan to equip every young person with the skills they need for life in modern Britain is working.

We have seen a significant fall in the number of young people not in education, employment or training, and through our reforms we are ensuring they are properly equipped to pursue high-quality careers.

However, there is no room for complacency and we are fully focused on seeing that the extremely encouraging reduction in NEETs we have seen today continues.

According to today’s figures, the proportion of 16- and 17-year-olds in education and training this quarter was up 2 percentage points compared to 2013 at 86.5%, the highest comparable participation rate since consistent records began in 2000. This trend reflects the government’s raising of the participation age to ensure young people stay in education or training beyond the age of 16.

It was also revealed that the number of 19- to 24-year-olds who are NEET and who have been unemployed for more than 6 months decreased by 68,000. Those unemployed for less than 6 months fell by 55,000 compared to figures from July to September 2013.

Notes to editors

  1. The full Q3 statistics can be found at NEET statistics quarterly brief: July to September 2014’.

DfE and BIS media enquiries

Published 20 November 2014