Over one in 10 young people not in education or work, figures show

More than 600,000 young people are not in work or education, new figures show.

Just over one in 10 16 to 24-year-olds were considered Neet - not in education, employment or training - as of the final three months of last year.

The official Government statistics do show that the proportion of young people falling into this category has fallen, compared to the same point in 2016.

But there are some warnings that there is still a need to ensure that young people get the right "transferable, future proof" workplace skills.

Overall, 11.1% of 16 to 24-year-olds in England - about 649,000 were Neet in the final three months of last year, compared to 11.3% (671,000) at the end of 2016, and 14.9% (893,000) in the last three months of 2012.

In addition, among 19 to 24-year-olds, 13.2% (around 538,000 people) were not in education, work or training at the end of last year, compared to 13.4% (551,000) at the same point the year before, and 18.1% (741,000) five years ago, in the final three months of 2012.

Teenagers in England must stay in some form of education or training until they are aged 18.

Andy Ratcliffe, chief executive of Impetus -PEF, a foundation that works with charities that help disadvantaged young people, said: "We're being lulled into a dangerous complacency on youth unemployment because the statistics don't answer the questions that really matter: which young people experience periods of neither earning or learning, for how long, and what makes the difference between a young person getting and keeping a job."

Kirstie Mackey, head of the LifeSkills programme, created with Barclays, said: "The overall decline in the number of young people not in education, employment or training over recent years is encouraging.

"However, as the world of work continues to change and increasingly focus on flexible working, self-employment and digital working practices, we must ensure our young people are equipped with the right transferable, future-proof skills.

"Businesses have a key role to play in this - we know from our research with the Education and Employers charity that students who interact with employers are significantly less likely to find themselves without employment, education or training."

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