Statistics released in December by the Department for Education have revealed that a worrying 17.7% of young people aged 16-24 are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

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The statistics show that approximately 1.1 million young people were found to fall into this category during the third quarter of 2013, between July and September. In England, the North East, the West Midlands and the North West have the highest proportion of 16-24 year olds who are NEET.

Those eligible for free school meals, those who have been excluded or suspended from school, those with their own child and those who have a disability are also more likely to be Not in Education, Employment or Training.

Not all unemployed 16-24 year olds are NEET and not all people who are NEET are unemployed. 62% of unemployed 16-24 year olds are NEET; the rest are unemployed, but in education or training and thus not NEETs. 55% of all people who are NEET are unemployed, but the rest are economically inactive: not seeking work and/or not available to start work (e.g., due to work-preventing disability, or imprisonment.)

Government plans to reduce the number of young people who are NEET include raising the mandatory school-leaving age, the Youth Contract and the Work Programme.