Press release

Number of young people not in education, employment or training falls

Statistics showing the rate of young people not in education, employment and training are published.

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


Skills Minister Matthew Hancock today welcomed a fall in the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) – including the lowest comparable level of 16- to-18-year-olds for 13 years.

The NEET stats for the second quarter of the year (April to June) were published today.

They show the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds who are NEET is 9.1% (168,000), a drop of 1.4 percentage points (28,000) on the same period in 2012.

There have also been 5 consecutive quarters of year-on-year falls in the rate of 16- to 24-year-olds who are NEET.

Today’s statistics also show, when compared to the same quarter in 2012, that:

  • the proportion of 19- to 24-year-olds who are NEET fell by 0.5 percentage points (24,000) to 18.3% (767,000)
  • the proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds who are NEET fell by 0.8 percentage points (51,000) to 15.5% (935,000)

Furthermore, the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds in education or training in this quarter was 83% (1,526,000), up by 2.2 percentage points (27,000) on the same time last year. This is the highest level of participation in this quarter since consistent records began in 2000, where it was 74.2%.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said:

With GCSE results out today, I am heartened to see the fall in the number of young people not in work, training or education. We are heading in the right direction, but one young person out of work, education or training, is one too many.

That is why we are continuing to work hard to give young people the skills, confidence and experience demanded by employers and universities. Only then can we say we have done everything we can to ensure young people reach their potential and help us compete in the global race.

Some employer surveys suggest young people lack the experience and skills required to be successful in the workplace. That is why the government is continuing its reforms to ensure every young person is prepared for the world of work, enabling them to prosper and compete in the global race. This includes:

  • raising the participation age from this September. Young people will be required to continue their education to the end of the academic year in which they turn 17. From summer 2015, this will rise to staying in education until their 18th birthday
  • spending £7.4 billion in 2013 to 14 to fund an education and training place for every 16- or 17-year-old who wants one and £4.1 billion on adult learning and skills in the same time period
  • implementing the proposals from the Richard Review to increase the quality of apprenticeships. Higher levels of English and maths achievement will be demanded of all apprentices
  • introducing traineeships from August, to help young people develop the skills and characteristics they need to compete for apprenticeships and other jobs. Lasting up to 6 months, traineeships will offer young people training to prepare for the workplace, English and maths, and a high quality work placement
  • reforming vocational education in line with Professor Alison Wolf’s recommendations. From September, all 16- to 19-year-olds students will be able to study courses tailored to their prior attainment and career aspirations. These courses will focus on those areas that employers value most – English and maths, substantial qualifications and work experience

These reforms and investment complement the £1 billion Youth Contract which provides a range of extra targeted support for 16- to 24-year-olds who are NEET to help get them back on track.

Notes to Editors

  1. the NEET stats for Q2 2013 (April to June) are available on the website
  2. the CBI education and skills survey 2012 is available on the CBI website
  3. the Richard Review of Apprenticeships was published in November 2012. It sets out a number of recommendations to government on how to reform the Apprenticeships programme. It was written by social entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den investor Doug Richard. You can access the Richard Review on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skill’s website
  4. the government’s response to Prof. Wolf’s review of vocational education, with links to the review itself, can be found on the website

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Published 22 August 2013