Last updated: 26.05.14

Number of NEETs is falling, new figures show

The number of young people not in education, employment or training has fallen significantly since last year, according to new official figures from the government.

It is estimated that there were 135,000 fewer so-called NEETs aged between 16 and 24 in the first quarter of 2014, which is the lowest comparable level since 2005. Importantly, the percentage of teenaged NEETs has also fallen to its lowest level since records began.

The figures, published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, show that there were a total of 774,000 16 to 24-year-olds not in education, employment or training last quarter - approximately 13.1 per cent of all those in this demographic.

Among 16 to 18-year-olds specifically, this figure stands at 122,000, or 6.7 per cent of this age group - which is down 1.5 percentage points on last year and at its lowest level since data collection began in 2001.

The figures also show that the proportion of 16 and 17-year-olds participating in education and training is also at its highest level since 2001, coming in at 94.2 per cent.

A concerted effort has been made to cut NEET numbers by creating more training and employment opportunities for young people and many in this group have increasingly found that vocational online training tools are helping to improve their career opportunities in a clear and significant way.

Commenting on the new NEET numbers, skills and enterprise minister Matthew Hancock said that they show progress is being made in ensuring that all young people have the skills to embark on productive careers.

"Every young person should be given the chance to reach their potential whether that is through studying or training, embarking on an apprenticeship or traineeship or entering the world of work," he said.

"Today's figures show that more and more young people that were previously held back from reaching their full potential are now in work or developing skills that will allow them to become valued employees."