Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training. “ I watch the Jeremy Kyle show ” : the reality of being young and NEET in Britain today?. Professor Sue Maguire Centre for Education and Industry (CEI) Warwick University. SKOPE Youth Unemployment Conference Tuesday 22nd May 2012.
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Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training “I watch the Jeremy Kyle show”: the reality of being young and NEET in Britain today? Professor Sue Maguire Centre for Education and Industry (CEI) Warwick University SKOPE Youth Unemployment Conference Tuesday 22nd May 2012
Objectives • Defining terms – NEET or unemployed? • Who is NEET? • NEET intervention/prevention • What is in the pipeline • Conclusions
NEET or unemployed – what’s the difference? • 1988 Social Security Act – removed entitlement to benefits for under 18s (in most cases) and removed young people from unemployment count • Status 0 • NEET- not in education, employment or training • Unemployed
The size of the NEET ‘problem’ Proportion of young people who were NEET in 2010: 16-year olds – 2.3 per cent (lowest rate ever recorded - fallen from 6.7 per cent in 2000) 17-year olds – 6.8 per cent (fallen from 7.4 per cent in 2000- 0.6 percentage point difference) 18 year olds – 12.4 per cent (12.2 per cent in 2000)DfE, 2011 Statistical First Release Participation in Education, Training and Employment by 16-18 Year Olds in England. London: Statistical First Release: SFR 15/2011, June.
How does this compare with the unemployment rate? January 2012 – OECD figures for UK (16-24 year olds) NEET rate – 13.4 per cent Unemployment rate – 21.9 per cent
Wealth of research on under 18 NEET group • Characteristics (Pring et al., 2009) • Propensity to re-engage in education, employment and training (Spielhofer et al., 2009) • Cost to the public purse (Audit Commission, 2010) • ‘Triggers’ of NEET status (Rennison et al., 2005; Gracey and Kelly, 2010) • Regional variations and differences between localities (Green and White, 2007)
Causes of the reduction in the NEET rate among under 18s? • Raising participation rates in post-16 education • Offering young people incentives to remain in learning e.g. EMA • Focusing the priority of guidance services (Connexions) on the NEET group • Targeted pilot initiatives for NEET group – Activity Agreements • Expanding Apprenticeship opportunities?
Where are we now? 2011 - highest ever proportion of 16-year olds remaining in full-time learning and lowest NEET rate BUT • Demise of Connexions (tracking and support) • Withdrawal of EMA • Lack of jobs/apprenticeships for this group • No entitlement to benefits (unless estranged from family)
What is on offer to young people NEET? • Local authorities are responsible for guidance and support (RPA offer) • 16-19 Bursary Fund • Youth Contract – outcomes driven (labour market focused) • JC+ will continue to have no responsibility for under 18s
NEETs - the ‘hidden and unknown’ population “No, it’s not just the money (Activity Agreement), it’s just like, if it weren’t for that …..I’d probably still be on the couch watching Jeremy Kyle. Just be two eyes on the couch, be nothing else, there might be a finger on the remote, that’s about it…. yes, it made my life better really, in summary” 17-year old male North West England GCSEs Cs and Ds
Conclusions • Escalating numbers of young people with destinations ‘unknown’ and hidden from official statistics • In the post RPA world - NEET or early school leavers? • Increased policy focus on achieving labour market outcomes despite no infrastructure in place to support most young people’s transitions into the labour market. • Sense of déjà vu – Youth Contract – YTS without the training or the money, perhaps a return to YOP?
What is needed? • Guidance, support and placement services for young people (Careers Service/Job Centre) • Full recognition in policy development and implementation that education is not the only post-16 route for young people (RPA) • Mapping and tracking young people to decipher what works, what doesn’t and why • Forcing DfE to have an employer engagement strategy or relinquish its responsibility for post-16 EET