Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Record Numbers Of NEET's In The UK

By Ben Aulakh

The number of young people not in education, employment or training, known as NEET’s, has risen by 119, 000 in the last year, the biggest increase since records began in 2000.

A combination of the trebling of student tuition fees, the scrapping of the Educational Maintenance Allowance and the Future Jobs Fund are being blamed for one in five young people being classified as NEET’s

Richard Darlington, Head of News at the Institute for Public Policy Research says, “All the evidence is increasingly suggesting that we are letting down a generation of young people by failing to provide them with the opportunities afforded to previous generations.

“The current state of government youth policy is nothing more than a vacuum, the government needs to provide more places at further education colleges and a job guarantee for every young person out of work for more than a year.”

Figures from the Prince’s Trust also show that young people who are NEETs are almost twice as likely as other youths to lack a sense of belonging in life.

Statistics from the charity also show that 37 per cent say lack a sense of identity, and this figure rises to 47 per cent for those who have been out of work for a year or longer.

More than 34 per cent also say that they feel isolated, and a worrying 48 per cent claim that unemployment has caused problems including self-harm, insomnia, self-loathing and panic attacks.

The trust reports that youth unemployment costs the economy around £10 million a day in lost productivity, while youth crime costs more than £1 billion a year.

Mr Darlington cites the scrapping of the Future Jobs Fund, which removed the jobs of 100, 000 people out of work for more than a year as one of the key factors in steep rise in the numbers of NEET’s.

Figures from the Local Government Association also show that children's services and youth clubs have been hardest hit by the government’s spending cuts.

Youth charity Catch 22’s Chief Executive Chris Wright says that it’s is crucial that young people are given the kind of emotional support that these organisations provide, to get back into employment.

“We strongly believe in supporting young people to get jobs and apprenticeships as lot of the young people we work with lack the family and emotional structures, which are an essential part of preparing for a working environment.

“For many, what is needed as a first stage to employment is that emotional and practical support along with strong direction to get them job ready’ our experience shows us that when young people receive this support they are better able to stick with employment.”

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