Press release

Number of young people who are NEET at 9-year low

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

The number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) in England fell by 125,000 compared to the same period last year.

The number of young people who are NEET in England is at the lowest level for 9 years, figures released on 21 August 2014 show. The number of teenagers (16 to 18 years old) who are NEET is at a record low.

The number of 16- to 24-year-olds who were NEET in April to June 2014 fell to the lowest comparable level since 2005. The number and proportion of teenagers who were NEET is at its lowest comparable level since consistent records began in 2000.

These figures show that in the second quarter of 2014 (April to June) compared to the same period in 2013 the proportion of:

  • young people who were NEET had fallen by 1.9 percentage points to 13.6%, down 125,000 to the lowest number and rate since 2005
  • 19- to 24-year-olds who were NEET had fallen by 2.2 percentage points to 16%, a reduction of 104,000
  • 16- to 18-year-olds who were NEET had fallen by 1.1 percentage points to 8%, which is down by 22,000

The statistics reveal that there are now 7,000 fewer 16- to 18-year-olds who are NEET than when comparable records began in 2000. There are also 91,000 fewer than when 16- to 18-year-old NEET levels peaked in 2009.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

Today’s figures are hugely encouraging and show how this government’s reforms are properly equipping young people for life in modern Britain.

With the number of young people not in education, employment or training at their lowest levels for 9 years we are seeing the huge progress being made to ensure they have the skills to pursue high-quality careers.

This shows how our long-term economic plan is working and we will continue to focus on securing young people’s future.

These figures take into account the raising of the participation age (RPA). The RPA requires young people to continue in education or training beyond the age of 16. This means that rather than drop out, every young person can continue their education or training and go on to skilled employment or higher education.

The 16-year-old cohort is the first to come under the duty to participate. Following this reform, the figures show the highest participation rate for this age group since comparable records began.

Participation for 16-year-olds is now at 95.3% - up 1.2 percentage points compared to the same period in 2013. Participation of 16- and 17-year-olds is also up to 91.4% - the highest rate since comparable records began in 2000.

The number of 19- to 24-year-olds who have been unemployed for more than 6 months also decreased by 55,000. Those unemployed for less than 6 months fell by 34,000 compared to figures from April to June 2013.

Notes to editors

  1. The full Q2 statistics can be found at NEET statistics: quarterly brief - April to June 2014.

DfE and BIS media enquiries