This morning we found out that 1,027,000 16 to 24 year olds (17% of the cohort) are currently not in education, employment or training (NEET) in England alone. That’s 1,027,000 young lives put on hold. What a waste. This is the fourth year running that the Third Quarter NEET statistics have remained stubbornly above the one million mark.
The situation can’t be blamed entirely on the recession. The number of young people not in education, employment or training began to rise in the early 2000s. However, there is hope. Long-term programmes geared to overcoming the disadvantage and disaffection which too often lead to disengagement can be effective. Our own ThinkForward intervention uses Super Coaches to work with a young person from age 14 through to 19, when they secure their first job.
Another key to ThinkForward’s success has been building bridges between schools and the workplace. Opportunities as simple as having a mentor from a supporting business, to work shadowing and office visits can transform a young person’s aspirations and ultimately attainment.