Training and Employability

How Neat is NEETs?

The term NEET refers to young people that are Not in Employment Education or Training. The term has come into policy debate in recent years due to disproportionate impact of the recession on young people (under 30 years old). But how neat is NEETs?
Across Europe the unemployment rate for those under thirty is nearly double the average rate. Those with low levels of education are three times more likely to be NEET. The risk is 70% higher for young people from an immigration background than nationals while having a disability or health issue is also a strong risk factor. NEETs can also describe people with PhD, Master’s degree and so on, but to a lesser extent. Therefore this term is a contested term and not as “NEET” as the word suggest. There is nothing neet about about unemployment, living in poverty are being homeless because you are so called NEET.

Some 14 million young people under the age of 30 years across the EU are NEETs. UK’s NEET problem is the biggest in the western world, with more than 10% of 16- to 19-year-olds not studying, working or training, compared with 4.5% in Germany. However, rates vary widely from around 5.5% of 15-24 year olds in the Netherlands to 22.7% in Italy. The economic cost of not integrating NEETs is estimated at over €150 billion, or 1.2% of GDP. Some countries, such as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia and Poland are paying 2% or more of their GDP.

Advise for teachers of potential NEETs
Encourage more innovative experiments with teaching and learning that mean learners are given greater responsibility and control – find new and different settings in the workplace, community and colleges. There is good evidence that more learning which differs from traditional schooling – both in style and location – is vital for creating pupil enthusiasm and and commitment, especially in at-risk categories. What do you think?

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