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More than 450,000 NEETs aren’t even looking for work or training

Today’s NEET figures for January-March 2019 from the Office of National Statistics:

There were 764,000 young people (aged 16 to 24 years) in the UK who were not in education, employment or training (NEET); this number decreased by 24,000 from October to December 2018 and was down 34,000 when compared with January to March 2018.

The percentage of all young people in the UK who were NEET was 11.0%; the proportion was down 0.3 percentage points from October to December 2018 and down 0.3 percentage points from January to March 2018.

Of all young people in the UK who were NEET, 39.2% were looking for, and available for, work and therefore classified as unemployed; the remainder were either not looking for work and/or not available for work and therefore classified as economically inactive.

Ben Keighley, Director of smart tech recruitment firm Socially Recruited, said:

“Although the number of NEETs has fallen, these latest figures reveal that more than 450,000 young people between 16 and 24 are not even looking for a job. 

“This is a shocking statistic and a sad reflection on the society we live in that so many young people, who are vital to the future lifeblood of our economy, have given up on ever finding a job and building a career. 

“There needs to be more support and training at a community level to encourage and help young people find employment, and employers need to be strategic in how they engage young people as it is more important than ever to present career opportunities to them.

“With unemployment levels at an all time low, there is no reason why a consistently high level of people between the ages of 16 and 24 should be economically inactive. 

“This is not only at odds with the buoyant employment market – with employers in sectors like IT and Construction reporting that they can’t fill vacancies –  but also symptomatic of a failure to positively engage this age group and cut through the lethargy they clearly feel.

“This is a real tragedy and today’s NEETs will become tomorrow’s long-term unemployed if we don’t address the problem and take opportunities to them.”

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