Governments are urged to tackle NEET challenges

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Governments across the world, including in the UK, are being urged to do more to engage with and support young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

There are more than 35 million young people aged 16 to 29 who are NEET across the 22 nations of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The OECD Skills Outlook 2015 report warns that around half of all these NEETs are out of school but are not looking for work. They are “likely to have dropped off the radar of their country’s education, social and labour market systems”, it adds.

The report states that more than 40 per cent of those who left school before completing their upper secondary education have poor numeracy and literacy skills. 

Furthermore, there is too big a gap between work and education, with less than 50 per cent of students on vocational education and training programmes participating in some kind of work-based learning. 

For those on academic programmes, less than 40 per cent are receiving work-based learning opportunities.

The report warns that many companies find that it is too expensive to hire young people who have no labour market experience.

The report comes as the latest NEET figures for the UK show that for January to March 2015 there were 943,000 young people aged 16 to 24 who were NEET, a decrease of 20,000 from October to December 2014 and down 45,000 from a year earlier.

The OECD report, however, calls for action from governments and education. Among its recommendations, it says that social welfare systems should consider offering a form of “second chance education or training”, whereby in return for social benefits, young people must participate in further training. 

Work-based learning must also be incorporated into both vocational and academic post-secondary programmes of study, it says.

The report can be found at http://bit.ly/1FODqyS


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