NEET numbers lowest since 2004 - Simon Hughes

NEET numbers lowest since 2004

The proportion of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) is at its lowest level since 2004, according to House of Commons Library research.

A research paper released yesterday shows that Liberal Democrat policies such as apprenticeships are making a real difference to the number of young people who are NEET.
According to the research, the number of 18-24 year olds who are NEET has fallen as the proportion who are in employment has risen.
Women make up a disproportionate amount of those who are NEET, which may be a result of young mothers being more likely to fall into the category than anyone else in the 16-24 population.
London has the smallest proportion of young people who are NEET in comparison to other regions around the country.
The three biggest determining factors as to why young people become NEET are: being a mother at the age of 19, being excluded from school at some point in the past, and being eligible for free school meals in year 11.
Being NEET once before means you are nearly eight times more likely to be NEET again for a period of longer than 6 months, showing that young people need to be given the opportunity to step out of this particular revolving door.
Young people should not be forgotten, which is why I am fighting for more apprenticeships and to protect the education budget from cradle to college. I will also continue to invest extra money in disadvantaged students. 
Over the last five years, over 2 million apprenticeships have been created across the country, with roughly 3,000 in our community. Apprenticeships give young people a nationally recognised qualification and stop them from being NEET.
In our local area alone, Liberal Democrats have invested roughly £26 million in students from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them achieve their potential and avoid being NEET. Ark Global Academy recently won a national award for their use of the money.
Liberal Democrats in Government also raised the participation age, so that once you leave school in year 11 at 16 you must either: continue into full time education, do an apprenticeship or traineeship, or stay in part-time education if you are employed or volunteering elsewhere.
However, there are still challenges ahead, which is why I will invest every penny possible in our young people by protecting the education budget from nursery to college.
At the moment it is only protected from age five to 16. Extending the ring-fenced budget will further reduce the number of young people who are NEET, creating greater opportunity for our younger generation.