From education to employment

Finding a NEET solution to city’s young unemployed

students doing exam

Newcastle City Council’s Economy, Jobs and Skills scrutiny committee have set up a Task and Finish Group to explore ways of supporting young people aged 16 to 25 into education, employment and training.

The six strong group headed up by the committee’s Vice-Chair Coun Stephen Lambert will explore what more can the Council and its partners do to support NEETS across the city – those not in education, employment or training. The Group will examine how relevant agencies can best prepare young adults for ”the world of work” and explore ways of aiding those young people into post-16 education, jobs and training.

Coun Stephen Lambert, Chair of the Task and Finish Group, said:

”Although most young people aged 16-19 in Newcastle are in some form of full-time education, apprenticeships or traineeships, there is still a significant minority who are classed as NEET. Newcastle has one of the highest rates of NEET or youth unemployment in the UK and we need to find better ways of meeting the needs of this group.”

”The implications are serious for businesses, the wider community and public services. Being NEET is often related to young offending, poor performance at school, mental well being, early parenthood and other ”scarring effects”, he added.

According to figures collated by Coun Lambert, nationally, there has been a sharp increase in the number of young people aged 16 to 24-years not in education, employment or training in the period October to December 2022. The total number of NEETs has risen to 788,000 from 724,000.

The latest figures for Newcastle reveal that in December 2021 and January 2022 the city’s ”NEET/Not know” figure was 6.7% for both months and went up to 7% in February 2022.

14% of NEETS in Newcastle are ”reporting mental health issues as a  barrier to entering work”.

There are 50 Year 12/13s with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) who are NEETS, 13% of the NEETS group.

Disadvantaged wards with the highest NEET are Elswick, Walker, Benwell and Newbiggin Hall and the lowest number of NEETs are in Gosforth and Parklands.

The in-depth study group will:

  • Draw upon a range of sources including senior staff from both the Council and partner organisations who work with young unemployed adults or at risk of becoming NEET (Newcastle College, North East LEP, DWP, North of Tyne Combined Authority, VCS, Newcastle Carers)
  • Identify what the Council and its partners can do to ”actively” support young people to enter or remain in post-16 education, work and training;
  • Explore  ”inspiration, experiences and pathways for young adults, including opportunities for training, employment and education.

The group expect to produce after four months a number of policy recommendations and ”practical measures” to support young people into education, employment and training while sharing examples of ”best practice”, outcomes and impact.

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