Increase in young people not in work or education


Increase in young people not in work or education

The number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) at the end of 2023 increased, with 12% of 16 to 24-year-olds in Britain estimated to fall into this camp.

According to the Office for National Statistics’ estimates for October to December 2023, 851,000 young people were thought to be NEET, up 2.4% from the figure reported in the same period in 2022.
The percentage of those aged 18 to 24 years who were NEET was 14.2%, which was up 0.3 percentage points on the year.
The increase was mainly driven by a rise in the number of young men not in work or education. An additional 37,000 young men were NEET, and they accounted for more than half of the total NEET figure (467,000).
However, the number of young males who were NEET and unemployed decreased by 3,000 on the year to 195,000. Economic inactivity among men aged 16-24 rose by 34,000, while 5,000 more young women became economically inactive.
Economic inactivity is defined as someone who is not in work, training or education and has not been seeking work within the last four weeks and/or they are unable to start work in the next two weeks.
Dr Andrea Barry, principal economist at Youth Futures Foundation, said: “Immediate action is needed to ensure young people across the country aren’t pushed further away from the labour market, causing long-term scarring effects.
“We need to harness the talents and aspirations of our youth, ensuring that every young individual has the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from our economy.
“In a recent study, we identified the key risk factors for young people becoming NEET. By using this evidence and data, we can help to guide and influence programmes and initiatives tackling youth employment, and find solutions that provide more young people with the opportunity to access good quality work.”
Matt Chapman, CEO at SBFM, a commercial cleaning company that created ‘Evolve’ – an initiative to support workers from disadvantaged backgrounds including the long-term unemployed – said the figures showed a “societal failure” for young people not in work.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to the countless talents wasting away, potential unrealised, and dreams lost,” he said.
“But amidst this crisis, there’s an opportunity for businesses to step up and show faith in those whom society has often overlooked – ex-offenders, care leavers, and those who didn’t fit the traditional mould. These groups possess skills, resilience, determination, and untapped potential waiting to be unleashed.
“Businesses must see beyond the surface and recognise the value these individuals bring. By understanding everyone’s story and providing opportunities, we can all collectively transform lives but also contribute to building a stronger, more inclusive society.”
William Poole-Wilson, founder of workplace design and architecture practice WILL+Partners, said apprenticeships could help provide pathways into the workforce.
“While they may be seen as a cheap option or alternative to a traditional architecture education, apprenticeships are the first step to transforming the relationship between employers and educators and opening access to the sector,” he said.
“We can leverage these programmes to attract the best young talent into the sector, offering opportunities to a pool of people far greater than one restricted by who can afford university fees. We can’t afford to ignore the stark reality that many young people are being left behind, lacking the opportunities they need to build a stable and fulfilling career.”
The ONS is using reweighted data from its labour force survey and said caution should be taken when making quarterly comparisons. It recently found that economic inactivity across the labour market could be higher than previously thought.
Original Article: Personneltoday
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