New record high for NEETs in 2011 – but why?

IPPR’s Richard Darlington looks at why there’s been such a rocket in the number of NEETs in 2011. Is it EMA? Is it the Future Jobs Fund? Is it just the Tories?

Richard Darlington is Head of News at IPPR and is author of “Through the Looking Glass”, a report on teenage girls’ self-esteem; follow him on Twitter: @RDarlo

The latest figures from the Department for Education on the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) show that 2011 was the worst year since records began.

There are now a total of 958,000 young people (aged 16-24) who are NEET, up 19,000 over the last year and a record high of 15.9 per cent for a ‘fourth quarter’.

Because the figures are not seasonably adjusted, the figure always peaks in quarter three and falls again in quarter four. But taking the average level over the calendar year shows that was over one million NEETs in during 2011 for the first ever time.

At the start of this week, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg announced plans to help 55,000 NEETs aged 16-17 years old with a new £126 million scheme. It’s a welcome move but in the context of the numbers of young people not in work or training, it looks like a drop in the ocean.

Today’s numbers show the biggest annual percentage increase in the number of NEETs aged 16-17 in a fourth quarter since records began, up 16.4 per cent over the last year. There is also a record rise in NEETs aged 16-18, up 16,000 (9.9 per cent) over the last year.

The worse rises are in the East Midlands (up 26 per cent, 17,000 young people), the North West (up 18,000, a rise of 13 per cent) and Yorkshire & Humberside (up 17,000, a rise of 15 per cent).

Last autumn, the government announced plans for a new ‘youth contract’ including 160,000 job subsidies and an extra 20,000 apprenticeships.

It was another welcome measure but it is still a policy yet to be implemented. Assuming there is no slippage, the youth contract will come on stream in April, more than a year after the abolition of the ‘future jobs fund’ and the education maintenance allowance (EMA).

A recent report from children’s charity Barnardos on the replacement to the EMA highlighted its inadequacy. Today’s figures do likewise.

When I blogged on this issue yesterday, I was contacted Mega Mentors, who by told me that the work they do with young people to get NEETs into work and training is threatened because their funding is being cut. I suspect they are not alone.

Resources are vital to tackling NEETs, as Barry Sherman’s education select committee showed in their excellent report at the end of the last Parliamentary session. But today’s figures, as Graph 1 illustrates, show a record breaking reverse, something I take no pleasure in pointing out that I predicted last summer.

Graph 1:

Neet-numbers-aged-16-24-2001-2011
Being NEET is no fun at all. The Prince’s Trust show that young people who are NEETs are almost twice as likely as other young people to lack a sense of belonging in life. More than a third of NEETs (37 per cent) lack a sense of identity, and this figure rises to nearly half (47 per cent) for those out of work  year or longer.

More than a third of unemployed young people (34 per cent) feel isolated all or most of the time, increasing to 45 per cent for those who have been out of work for a year or longer. Almost half of young people not in work (48 per cent) claim that unemployment has caused problems including self-harm, insomnia, self-loathing and panic attacks.

Young people are twice as likely to self-harm or suffer panic attacks when they have been unemployed for a year.

IPPR research shows that apprenticeships – and vocational education more generally – play a key role in supporting young people’s transitions into work in many northern European countries where rates of youth unemployment in these countries are much lower than in Britain.

They say “you’re only young once” and it’s true. I now realise how lucky I was to be a teenager in the late nineties. Those of you in your teenage years in 2011 have my profound sympathy because it is not you who have failed, but Britain that has failed you.

See also:

Teenagers need EMA, not JSA, to get back into the workplaceJames Mills, February 22nd 2012

As Cameron talks up the Big Society, it’s crashing downDominic Browne, June 6th 2011

OECD calls on Gove to save EMAJames Mills, April 8th 2011

EMA replacement doesn’t make the gradeJames Mills, March 31st 2011

Students lobby Parliament as MPs debate EMA todayShamik Das, January 19th 2011

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28 Responses to “New record high for NEETs in 2011 – but why?”

  1. Richard Darlington

    My latest blog on the new record high for young people #NEET in 2011 is up on @leftfootfwd http://t.co/wDQyH6YR #unemployment #economy

  2. Richard Darlington

    New record high for NEETs in 2011 – but why? asks @IPPR’s @RDarlo: http://t.co/uoPPfWRm

  3. Amy Begins

    New record high for NEETs in 2011 – but why? | Left Foot Forward: IPPR's Richard Darlington looks at why there's… http://t.co/tA9DMPx1

  4. Marzia Gitto

    New record high for NEETs in 2011 – but why? asks @IPPR’s @RDarlo: http://t.co/uoPPfWRm

  5. Marzia Gitto

    My latest blog on the new record high for young people #NEET in 2011 is up on @leftfootfwd http://t.co/wDQyH6YR #unemployment #economy

  6. Richard Darlington

    Check out the graph in my @leftfootfwd blog on young people #NEET http://t.co/wDQyH6YR #BBCQT #fail #unemployment http://t.co/FkZ3qVWT

  7. Samuel John Urquhart

    Record youth unemployment in Britain last year, and funds for mentoring being cut. Death spiral. http://t.co/qbYMxRCF

  8. Richard Darlington

    Coverage of @IPPR reax to #NEET stats from @jeevanvasagar on @guardian http://t.co/SGY0OJSr also see my blog: http://t.co/cXgBvn3X

  9. Richard Darlington

    New record high for NEETs in 2011 – but why? | Left Foot Forward: IPPR's Richard Darlington looks at why there's… http://t.co/tA9DMPx1

  10. Richard Darlington

    Record youth unemployment in Britain last year, and funds for mentoring being cut. Death spiral. http://t.co/qbYMxRCF

  11. Richard Darlington

    Discussion on @SkyNews this morning about youth #unemployment – in case you missed my @leftfootfwd blog: http://t.co/wDQyH6YR

  12. Richard Darlington

    “@Markfergusonuk: Nick Clegg accidentally drops the C-BOMB. http://t.co/7tCAFbJt” < not a story. The #NEET stats are: http://t.co/wDQyH6YR

  13. Richard Darlington

    MT “@BevaniteEllie: Just seen Clegg "c-bomb" video. *awaits Sunday Sun splash*” <- 2 wrongs… Real story here: http://t.co/wDQyH6YR

  14. Ellie Gellard

    Clegg's c-bomb *may* make headlines,here's real story:record young NEET but inadequate Govt replacements for FJF & EMA http://t.co/J1CiPfDi

  15. keith ferguson

    Clegg's c-bomb *may* make headlines,here's real story:record young NEET but inadequate Govt replacements for FJF & EMA http://t.co/J1CiPfDi

  16. Matthew Downie

    First warning signs of the 'lost generation' expose coalition failure but demand longer term thinking all round: http://t.co/PF2EQHIm

  17. Richard Darlington

    Clegg's c-bomb *may* make headlines,here's real story:record young NEET but inadequate Govt replacements for FJF & EMA http://t.co/J1CiPfDi

  18. CyberFF

    Clegg's c-bomb *may* make headlines,here's real story:record young NEET but inadequate Govt replacements for FJF & EMA http://t.co/J1CiPfDi

  19. Mark Ferguson

    “@Markfergusonuk: Nick Clegg accidentally drops the C-BOMB. http://t.co/7tCAFbJt” < not a story. The #NEET stats are: http://t.co/wDQyH6YR

  20. Dan Crawford

    The number of young people not in education, employment or training is the highest since records began: http://t.co/iUVdStqk

  21. Look Left – “A mess... unnecessary... setting the NHS back”: Another attack on the health bill | Left Foot Forward

    […] you need to end workfare, and an explanation of how workfare is not voluntary; James Mills and Richard Darlington on the record NEETs numbers; and Amanda Ramsay on the need for job centres to undergo radical and […]

  22. HaywoodsLocalVoice

    RT @leftfootfwd: New record high for NEETs in 2011 – but why? http://t.co/NXvIzBU3

  23. HaywoodsLocalVoice

    As a nation we should hang our heads in shame at this disgraceful set of statistics http://t.co/10wuLKFa

  24. Keltis

    RT @leftfootfwd: New record high for NEETs in 2011 – but why? http://t.co/njF3DJMi

  25. Angus Carruthers

    As a nation we should hang our heads in shame at this disgraceful set of statistics http://t.co/10wuLKFa

  26. qu3stor

    As a nation we should hang our heads in shame at this disgraceful set of statistics http://t.co/10wuLKFa

  27. Legal Aware

    As a nation we should hang our heads in shame at this disgraceful set of statistics http://t.co/10wuLKFa

  28. Jude Hider

    As a nation we should hang our heads in shame at this disgraceful set of statistics http://t.co/10wuLKFa

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