Teenage dropout rate dipped a little bit

There has been a slight dip in the proportion of teenagers not in education, employment or training (Neet) in England.

Statistics for the second quarter of this year, April to June, show the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds who were Neet was 9.1% – 168,000 in total. This is a drop of 1.4 percentage points – 28,000 – on the same period in 2012.

The government hailed the rate for the second quarter of the year as the lowest for more than 10 years. The Department for Education stressed there had been five consecutive quarters where the 16-24 age group rate was lower than it had been the year before.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “With GCSE results out, I am heartened to see the fall in the number of young people not in work, training or education. We are heading in the right direction, but one young person out of work, education or training, is one too many. That is why we are continuing to work hard to give young people the skills, confidence and experience demanded by employers and universities. Only then can we say we have done everything we can to ensure young people reach their potential and help us compete in the global race.”

This decrease, according to analysis has been driven by two factors:

1) an increase in those in education and training – up to 83% from 80.9% year on year
2) an increase of 1.4 percentage points in the proportion of those who were not in education or training finding jobs.

Those receiving their results this year will be the first year to be required to stay in education until they are 17 under new rules by the government, which probably explains the increase of those in education or training. This will however rise to 18 in the summer of 2015, meaning that all children will end up on A levels or some sort of vocational course.

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