Press release

Number of NEETS in England drops for all age groups between 16 to 24

The proportion of young people aged 16 to 24 not in education, employment or training (NEET) is the lowest it has been since 2008.

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


The proportion of young people aged 16 to 24 not in education, employment or training (NEET) is the lowest it has been since 2008 – figures for the final quarter of 2013 show. Today’s (27 February 2014) statistics show that between October and December 2013 there were 45,000 fewer NEET young people in England than in the same period in 2012.

The most notable reduction comes for those between the age of 16 and 18 with the figures for October to December 2013 at their lowest since comparable government records began in 2000.

According to the data published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Education (DfE) there has been a decline in NEETS for all age groups:

  • 14.2% of people aged 16 to 24 are now NEET, a fall of 45,000 since the same quarter in 2012
  • 7.6% of those aged 16 to 18 are NEET, the lowest since records began
  • the number of 19 to 24 year olds who are NEET fell by 38,000 when compared with the same quarter in 2012

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said:

The fact that we are now seeing the lowest numbers of teenagers not in education, employment or training is testament to the hard work being done to make sure young people have the skills and education to take part in the workforce.

We must stick to our long-term economic plan and continue to bring NEET levels down. Through programmes like the new traineeships scheme, we will equip young people with the skills they need to compete in the global race and make a meaningful contribution to the economy.

Every young person no longer NEET is a life being built and prospects for the future strengthened.

Regionally, the greatest fall was in the South East with 27,000 fewer NEETS aged 16 to 24. London saw a fall of 19,000 while the East Midlands saw a fall of 12,000.

The government is spending £7.4 billion in the coming year to fund an education and training place for every 16 and 17 year-old who wants one.

Young people already benefit from Apprenticeships and Traineeships which give them the skills, confidence and experience demanded by employers.

The Chancellor has also previously announced a number of measures intended to reduce the number of young people who are NEET including abolishing employer National Insurance contributions for those under 21.

Notes to editors

  1. To see today’s figures go to: NEET statistics quarterly brief: October to December 2013.

  2. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 27 February 2014