This time a year ago I think the word ‘NEET’ was a purely professional or academic term that I had personally had heard about 3times now it seems to be everywhere;
In the news…
In my work meetings…
In youth conferences…
On the television…
Articles, books…you get the picture
So what does ‘NEET’ mean and what exactly is this ‘NEET phenomena’ that is exploding across news papers, funding bids and social policy agendas costing tax payers and British society a lot of money I’m sure.
The following is Information from my Literature Research that I thought I’d share, please feel free to add and comment!
NEET= ‘Not in employment, education or training’ some others may refer to this as NETLE= ‘Not in employment, training, learning or education’ whichever way you look at it means someone who is not earning or learning (theoretically). However I’d like to mention that NEET’s include people who volunteer of their own accord and do many things outside of earning and learning and so it in no way means that for people to be NEET they are doing NOTHING. In fact I’m sure many NEETs are learning very valuable life lessons everyday unless they are literally doing NOTHING AT ALL in which case I’m sure they will disappear entirely.
NEET is just a current term for social exclusion; social exclusion has been on the political agenda since the early 1990’s. Labour made social exclusion a focus of their campaign into office in 1997 and have aimed policy around supporting those who were socially excluded since. Bridging the Gap was a huge step into the socially excluded correctness zone which aimed to defend the Nation against social exclusion and was a big convincing reason to fund targeted youth services in Britain (the tail end of this may be why I have a job today in fact)!
Social exclusion and NEET seem to be terms that refer to something a person (or people) need to correct immediately why? The reason for this is that being a NEET or socially excluded person creates a higher risk factor for individuals to be involved in substance abuse and criminality. NEET’s are also more likely to be a long term cost on taxation.
Before social exclusion was ‘youth unemployment’, which was a huge political agenda during the 1880’s.
Currently Britain has 260,000 ‘core’ NEETs which means individuals that have been out of employment, training or education for a year.
NEET usually is a term which applies to young people with the majority being 16-18 (except in Wales which last year had a higher 19-25 ratio of NEETs).
I hope this information will be useful to people to other members of society I for one have found it useful in my understanding and placement of political agendas, funding, young people and the current economic climate. I do hope that those who are NEET or NETLE find things that they enjoy doing and perhaps gain employment or seek training in these enjoyments with or without support from government funded schemes, teachers, training providers, learning coaches, youth, social or community workers.
Here are some references so that you know I didn’t make all of that up!
Department for Education and Skills. (2002) Estimating the Cost of Being ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’ at age 16-18. DfES Publications: Nottingham.
Furlong, A (2006). Not a very NEET solution: representing problematic labour market transitions among early school-leavers. Work, employment and society (20) pp553-569.
Hills, J and Steward, K. (2005) Access on-line here: http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/policies-towards-poverty-inequality-and-exclusion-1997
Rose, J. (2008) Youth Policy in Wales. youth and Policy (56) pp 55-63.
Steward, K. (2009) A Scar on the soul of Britain: child poverty and disadvantage under New Labour. In Hills, J Sefton, T and Steward, K. Towards a more equal society? Poverty, inequality and policy since 1997.
Welsh Assembly Government, 2008, Delivering Skills that Work for Wales: Reducing the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training in Wales.
Yates, S and Payne, M. (2006) Not so NEET? A critique of the use of ‘NEET’ in Setting Targets for Interventions with Young People. Journal of Youth Studies 9 (No 3, July) pp. 329-344.