Tag Archives: NEET

GCSE success for Anti-NEET scheme

A pilot payment-by-results scheme to prevent young people from slipping out of education and into unemployment is claiming success in GCSE results.

Social investors are funding charities to work with young people at high risk of becoming NEET – not in employment, education and training.

If they achieve targets, including GCSE results, investors will be repaid by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Among over 300 teenagers in a pilot scheme, 55% achieved five A*-C GCSEs, meaning that this project in east and north London achieved above the target of 30% of the at-risk young people reaching this benchmark.

The project is aiming to prevent 8 out of 10 vulnerable youngsters in the UK, of which around 9% of children are classified as NEET, from becoming NEET.

This experimental scheme is based on the amount of taxpayers’ money that can be saved if young people can be steered away from becoming Neets. But instead of the government funding the scheme directly, social investors provide the initial capital. In the London project, investors Big Society Capital and Impetus-PEF provided £900,000 for work carried out by a charity, Tomorrow’s People.

The project, unlike the effects of the Olympics, has not just been successful in London. Another scheme in Merseyside, with funding from the Triodos ethical investment bank, is also reporting GCSE results above the target. This charity worked with teenagers identified as being potential Neets, with the aim of supporting them in school, with their success measured in terms of exam results, behaviour and attendance.

The funding cycle will mean that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will pay back the social investors, plus a small extra payment. The amount paid by the DWP will be no more than £8,200 over five years, compared with an estimated £97,000 cost to the taxpayer for each additional youngster who becomes Neet. This model is designed to support such charity projects while minimising financial risk to the taxpayer.

Big Society Capital, a social investment bank, was set up last year, with assets including £400m from dormant accounts abandoned in banks for more than 15 years. It aims to put finance in reach of social sector projects.

Chief executive Nick O’Donohoe said: “This year’s GCSE results are an encouraging indicator of how effective this programme is at supporting some of our most vulnerable young people into education and training. The model allows charities to deliver innovative preventative programmes that can deliver significant social benefits and cost savings, with social investors such as us taking the financial risk and government only paying if it works.”

Well all this looks encouraging for the London and Merseyside pilot schemes, but these are two highly populated areas in the UK where local schools are a plenty, but no pilot scheme of this nature has been reported in areas that are less affluent and smaller populated. It would still be a risk to roll this program out nationally until the odds stack up. While the money side may stack up (savings of almost £90k), it may not actually work in all areas, which could mean that other schemes or methods may need to be looked at and piloted to find other ways of saving.


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.

18 year olds – less full-time education, more in work, says statistics

The proportion of 18-year-olds in full-time education has fallen for the first time in England since 2001 but more are in work, official data suggests.

Snapshot data for the end of 2012 suggests the proportion of 18 year-olds in full-time education was down 4.3 percentage points on 2011.

There was also a slight fall in 16-18 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET).

The skills Minister Matthew Hancock welcomed the lower NEET figures.

“I welcome the reduction in the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training. We want to see these rates continue to improve and our new programme of traineeships will prepare young people for apprenticeships and sustainable jobs.”

The figures, published by the Department for Education, are provisional estimates for 2012.

The proportion of 18 year-olds in full-time education fell from 50.3% in 2011 to 46% in 2012. However there was only a very slight increase, of 0.1 percentage points, in 18-year-olds who were NEET. The reason for this was an increase in the employment rate for 18-year-olds who were not engaged in education or training, the statistics suggest. There was also a slight increase, of 0.3 percentage points of 18-year-olds in part-time education.

The overall figures for 16- to 18-year-olds showed a related drop in the proportion in full-time education from 68.6% in 2011 to 67.2% in 2012.

The proportion of 16-18-year-olds who were NEET at the end of 2012 was 9.6%, a little lower than at the end of 2011 when it was 9.8%.

Tristram Hunt, Labour’s shadow minister for young people accused the government of failing young people, having “damaged vocational education, undermined independent careers advice and removed the right to work experience”.

“We need to ensure young people have the skills to equip them for work. Labour would take real action by ensuring all young people have access to high quality vocational courses, working to a gold standard Tech Bacc at 18, and that all pupils study English and Maths to age 18 alongside getting a quality work experience placement.”

The figures follow last month’s report by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education which suggested a seven percentage point drop in the proportion of 17- to 24-year-olds taking part in learning.

Labour appear to be missing the point here. Studying Maths and English to 18 doesn’t make a great deal of sense as most jobs that don’t strictly involve the use of Mathematics requires a Grade C or above at GCSE. Basically this means what he’s saying is he wants everyone to stay in school till their 18, be forced into doing 2 A levels which may not have any usefulness or importance to the degree or job they want to get into, meaning less space for A levels which may have been important to their degrees, causing less people to get into higher education and more young people either NEET or in part time education trying to gather a host of courses just to make themselves employable. To me this doesn’t seem to be the answer to getting young people either into education or into work.

The other issue is that apprenticeships, whilst been highly touted by politicians as ‘the solution to young people who are NEET’, have not been advertised or made as readily available as they have suggested. Companies haven’t given that may apprentices a chance, and even with these apprenticeships they aren’t guaranteed work or anything afterwards, which means they could just end up unemployed again within the next couple of years, so whilst the unemployment figures might drop a little this year, it’ll rise again next year.

What do you guys think? How are we going to persuade young people into work or full time education in the climate we’re in now? Comment your thoughts.