Improving the futures of young NEETs

22nd August 2011

The report argues that it is critical for third sector organisations to receive the right support from government and local authorities, including an infrastructure that supports partnership working, because of the positive impact they can have on young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Sue Southwood, NIACE Programme Manager and one of the report’s authors, said:

“The third sector has a unique and critical role to play in the effective re-engagement of young people, offering a bridge between formal services and the real lives and experiences of young people who are NEET. For many of the young people, formal services are often perceived as threatening and of little relevance to their lives. The voluntary sector has the expertise to work with all young people whatever their circumstances and this expertise needs to be recognised and valued by government, schools and employers.”

“Learning is crucial in enabling young people who are NEET to achieve a range of formal outcomes like qualifications and employment. However, of equal importance are the range of informal outcomes that learning and engagement can deliver, such as improved health, greater confidence and self-esteem and higher aspirations – all of which result in significant benefits for marginalised young people, local communities and wider society.”

The report – commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – makes a range of recommendations including greater flexibility for funding to support young people who are furthest away from employment and training as well as those who can easily move into jobs or education. Apart from employability skills, it also emphasises the importance of supporting personal and social skills development.