Number of young people not in education or employment is on the up

26 May 2016 -


CMI’s Petra Wilton says more needs to be done to improve the employability of the next generation of workers

Matt Scott

The number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) totalled 865,000 between January and March 2016, equivalent to 12% of the total population of young people (aged 16 to 24) in the UK.

The latest figures from Office for National Statistics (ONS) represent a 0.1 percentage point increase on the last three months of 2015, but is 0.8 percentage points lower than the same period last year.

This figure peaked at just under 17% in the second half of 2011, but has started to increase again over the last six months.

CMI director of strategy and external affairs Petra Wilton said businesses need to step up to the plate and start focussing on work-based learning and improving employability in order to ensure more young people are able to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

“The slow-down in progress on NEETs shows that far more needs to be done to encourage work-based learning which is a surer route to employability and productivity gains,” she said. “With three billion pounds cut from the education budget, employers must re-examine work-based training as a way of ensuring their workforce is equipped with the skills necessary for productivity.

“The employability of our young people is a rising concern for employers. Traditional graduate recruitment has high costs and retention levels can be poor meaning far more employers are turning their attention to school leavers. “

Some 44% of all young people classified as NEET were looking for work over the period. One solution aimed at improving the employability and professionalism of young people is the new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship.

“The development of new degree apprenticeships provides a new work-based route to a degree,” Wilton said. “The great appeal of earning, as oppose to racking up debt, has gained the favour of young people their parents and employers.

“Indeed, the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, which also offers a pathway to professional status, is seen as a far surer route to creating a work-ready generation of school leavers.”

Find out more about the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship here

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