A NEET is someone aged between 16 and 24 who is not in employment, education or a training scheme. From June 2010 to June 2011 the number of NEETs rose by 2.1% in England; from 16.3% to 18.4% of that age group. In June 2011 this equates to a figure of 979,000 NEETs. If there is a similar increase between June 2011 and June 2012, the figure of NEETs will move to a fraction under the potentially politically damaging 1 million mark. However, the data, from the Labour Force Survey, did show that there had been a drop in NEETs in the 16 to 18 age bracket, which indicates more in this age group are staying on in education or some form of training as opposed to finding some form of employment. Also since data for NEETs has been collected, the figures always spike in the summer in the immediate aftermath of 16-year olds leaving school and tend to go down from the autumn through to the next summer.


In August 2011, it has been estimated that as many as 220,000 18-year olds failed to get a place at university. These may help to increase the number of NEETs when the figure is next assessed. However, with an A-level background and a chosen desire to get to university, this is not the group that many would assume to be a ‘typical’ NEET. There is an expectation that such youths would actively look for employment or a training course of some description. But the regional variations for NEETs indicate that where the figure for NEETs is highest (such as Northwest England and the West Midlands for example) it is also where unemployment is high. Therefore, the employment prospects for those with A-levels but who did not get a university place may well be hindered simply because of where they live. The same will be true for those seeking training courses with some companies on a tight budget having to cut back the amount of money they invest in training courses.


Regional variations for NEETs:


North East – 50,000 NEETs – up 14% from 2010


North West – 141,000 NEETs – up 36% from 2010


Yorks and Humber – 105,000 NEETs – up 17% from 2010


East Midlands – 60,000 NEETs – up 11% from 2010


West Midlands – 92,000 NEETs – up 14% from 2010


East England – 81,000 NEETs – up 27,000 from 2010


London – 112,000 NEETs – up 20% from 2010


South East – 89,000 NEETs – up 1% from 2010


South West – 64,000 NEETs – up 10% from 2010