The government’s commitment to raise the age of participation in education or training to 18 by 2015 has reframed the debate about the group of young school-leavers who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). Despite an increase over the past fifteen years in the proportion of young people who participate in full-time education, a persistent minority remain NEET.
This study was commissioned to assess the feasibility of undertaking a quantitative survey to measure the medium term affect of individuals spending a period of time not in education, employment and training at ages 16 to 18 as compared with being in employment or education. This involved investigating suitable data from previous surveys which could serve as sampling frames and conducting a pilot survey.
Following an investigation of a number of data sources, the educational maintenance allowance (EMA) pilots and youth cohort surveys (YCS) were identified as the most suitable sample frames for the pilot. NatCen conducted these longitudinal surveys with young people some years back when they were aged between 16 and 20 and by January 2010, the respondents to the cohorts used were aged between 24 and 27.