Education & Family

Young jobless total lowest for 10 years

Young and unemployed Image copyright PA
Image caption Young people in England are now meant to stay in education or training until they are at least 17

There are fewer young people not in education, employment or training in the UK than at any time since 2005, the Office of National Statistics has said.

In the three months to March, some 943,000 16- to 24-year-olds were Neet, down 20,000 on the previous quarter and 45,000 on the same period last year.

Government figures for England show a 174,000 drop on the same point in 2010.

But with one in eight young people still Neet, a leading training group described the fall as "a tiny victory".

In England, the current figure of 738,000 was the lowest since records began in 2001, ministers said.

But the statistics show a mixed picture in England, with the number of 16- to 18-year-olds out of education, employment and training rising by 0.3 percentage points, on the same period last year.

Government statisticians says this increase is not significant, pointing out that it follows a large fall last year in Neet figures for this age group.

This followed the introduction of a requirement that teenagers in England to stay in education or training until the age of 17.

This will rise to 18 next year.

"These record low rates of young people not in employment, education or training demonstrate that our economic plan is working," said England's Skills Minister Nick Boles.

"No young person should be left without the opportunity of a regular wage and high quality training, that's why we will create three million new apprenticeships over the next five years."

Careers advice

City and Guilds chief executive Chris Jones said: 'It's great that more young people are in education, training, or work, but it's a tiny victory.

"We have a long way to go to make sure that no-one is slipping through the cracks, especially given the slight rise in the Neet rate amongst 16- to 18-year-olds.

"One of the best ways to do that is by improving careers advice so that young people are fully aware of their options.

"That includes using labour market information and the latest data on skills gaps to shape the careers advice on offer.

"That way, young people can get up-to-date advice on the industries and jobs that are in demand."

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