Baroness Redfern – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Redfern on 2015-11-10.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress has been made in reducing the number of young people not in employment, education, or training; and how they intend to support local authorities in reducing that number during this Parliament.

Lord Nash

The number of 16- to 18-year-olds who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs) is at its lowest level since 1994. This number has fallen by 51,900 since 2011. The government is determined to do more to encourage young people to participate in education and training, and to continue reducing the proportion who are NEET. That is why the government is investing £7 billion in 2015-16 to fund a place in education or training for every 16- to 19-year-old who wants one.

Under Raising the Participation Age (RPA), all young people are required to continue in education or training until at least their eighteenth birthday. The Department is working closely with local authorities to support and challenge them in implementing RPA and meeting their duties to track and support young people. This support includes collecting and analysing local authorities’ data and sharing good practice.

There are also a number of central initiatives which support local authorities in their work to reduce the number of young people NEET. These include a package to help improve the prospects of over 9,600 vulnerable young people through the Youth Engagement Fund and the Fair Chance Fund; the Youth Contract which continues to be available until March 2016 to support vulnerable young people; Jobcentre Plus pilots which are delivering in over 30 local authority areas to support 16- and 17-year-olds who are NEET; and provision funded by the European Social Fund which targets those who are NEET or at risk of being NEET. Broader work includes curriculum and qualifications reform, the 16-19 Bursary Fund, and improvements in the quality of careers advice and guidance.

These initiatives will help to continue reducing the number of young people NEET by removing barriers to participation and ensuring that young people are able to gain the skills and qualifications they need for their future employment or continuing education.