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14,000 more young people not in education, employment or training

Published 24/11/2016

Nearly half of UK young people who were NEET were looking for work and available and so were classed as unemployed
Nearly half of UK young people who were NEET were looking for work and available and so were classed as unemployed

The number of young people not in education, employment or training has increased by 14,000 to 857,000, new figures show.

The so-called NEET total for 16 to 24-year-olds is up by 3,000 on a year ago, said the Office for National Statistics.

The percentage of young people in the UK who were NEET in the quarter to September was 11.9%, up 0.2% from April to June 2016 and by the same figure from a year earlier.

Nearly half of all young people in the UK who were NEET were looking for work and available for work and so were classed as unemployed.

The rest were either not looking for work and/or not available for work and therefore classified as economically inactive.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "These figures show that the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training in England remains broadly stable and the proportion of 16 to 18 year olds who are NEET is continuing to fall.

"But we are determined to see even more young people, whatever their background, gain the skills to get on in life and help build a stronger country. The steps we're taking to strengthen the curriculum, develop gold standard qualifications and provide high-quality apprenticeships, will match the best education systems in the world and keep pace with universities' and employers' demands."

Shadow employment and inequalities minister Margaret Greenwood sa id the f igures were another warning sign of Tory "mismanagement" of the economy.

"These figures are the direct result of years of Tory cuts to employment support for young people, including the Connexions service, replaced with a policy of punitive sanctions.

"Work, education and training are important in developing young people's confidence and opportunities. Only Labour can be trusted to give our young people the support they need to realise their potential."

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: "It comes as no surprise that the number of young people not in education, employment or training looks to have risen given that funding for 16 to 18-year-olds in further education has been cut by 14% since 2009 and budgets for adult learning have been slashed by 24%."

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