Despite signs that the economy is starting to recover, with a record number of job vacancies advertised, today’s ONS statistics reveal that one in 10 young people are not in education, employment or training (NEET), an increase of 9% on the previous quarter.
There are disparities within this group. The number of 16–17-year-old NEETs has decreased, while there has been an increase in the 18–24-year-old cohort. The NEET level is higher for 18–24-year-olds.
There has been significant growth in economically inactive 16–24-year-olds, rising from 351,000 in the last quarter to 421,000.
There has also been an increase in both female and male NEETs and similar rises in economically inactive 18–24-year-olds. Men remain more likely to be NEET, at all age levels.
It is unacceptable that 10% of young people are in limbo. Our recent report found that there is a risk of generational progress grinding to a halt without sustained government support. It recommends the government should create new ‘green and clean’ job opportunities for young people through its ‘Levelling Up’ and ‘Net Zero Transition’ investments. Also, skills provision must be more closely matched to local labour market needs, with regional economic areas given more powers to design and shape their local provision.