United Kingdom

Not in education, employment or training

Key points

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Graph 1: Over time

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Graph 2: By region

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Graph 3: By destination

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Graph 4: By gender

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Graph 5: By ethnic group

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Why this indicator was originally chosen

Many school leavers who are not in education or training are no longer developing their skills and thus are more likely to suffer from low pay at work both now and in the future (see the indicator on the impact of education on work).

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Definitions and data sources

There are three possible sources for data about those not in education, employment or training (sometimes referred to as NEETs):

For a discussion of these various data sources, and how their results compare, see the 2010 DfE briefing paper.  The results from LFS and the DfE publications are actually very similar and, in this context, the following approach has been adopted in the analysis on this page:

The first graph shows the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (sometimes referred to as NEETs).

The second graph shows how proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training varies by region.  To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest three years.

The data source for the first two graphs is the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and relates to the United Kingdom.  Note that the figures are not precisely the same as those in official government publications because government publications are typically based on analysis of the fourth quarter data for each year only.

The third graph shows, over time, the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds by education/training/work status.

The fourth graph shows, for the latest year, the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds by education/training/work status and gender.

The data source for the third and fourth graphs is the DfE publication entitled Participation in education, training and employment by 16-18 year olds in England.  The data relates to England only and is based on internal DfE analysis of large volumes of administrative data, including records for individual young people.  'Learning/training' is an aggregation of 'Work-based learning but not in full-time education', 'Employer-funded training' and 'Other education and training'.

The fifth graph shows, for the latest year, how the proportion of pupils who have completed year 11 but are not in full-time education varies by ethnic group.  Note that this is a different age group (basically 16-year-olds) than the other graphs.

The data source for the fifth graph is the Connexions Careers Service Activity Survey obtained via the annual publications entitled Moving on - pathways taken by young people beyond 16.  The data relates to England only.  The analysis omits any operational area which shows a proportion of 'ethnicity not known' of more than 11% plus those who either refused to answer the questions or with whom Connexions had lost contact.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  The LFS is a large, well-established, quarterly government survey designed to be representative of the population as a whole but nevertheless the sample sizes for this age group are small.  Furthermore, the number of NEETs is estimated by deducting those in education, employment or training from the total population and LFS may not always capture all types of education or training that a person is engaged with.  Despite these theoretical shortcomings, however, the results from LFS - at least for England - are actually in very close agreement with equivalent results from administrative data on individual young people.

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External links

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Relevant 2007 Public Service Agreements

Overall aim:  Increase the number of children and young people on the path to success

Lead department

Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Official national targets

Reduce the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training by 2 percentage points by 2010.

Reduce the under-18 conception rate by 50% by 2010 as part of a broader strategy to improve sexual health.

Other indicators of progress

Young people participating in positive activities.

Young people frequently using drugs, alcohol or volatile substances.

First-time entrants to the Criminal Justice System aged 10-17.

Previous 2004 targets

Reduce the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training by 2 percentage points by 2010.

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The numbers

Graph 1

20009%
20019%
200210%
200311%
200410%
200511%
200611%
200711%
200811%
200910%
201010%

Graph 2

East9%
East Midlands10%
London9%
North East14%
North West11%
Northern Ireland8%
Scotland13%
South East9%
South West9%
Wales10%
West Midlands12%
Yorkshire and The Humber12%

Graph 3

Year Full-time education Other learning/training Employment without training Not in education, employment or training
199457% 21% 14% 8%
199558% 20% 13% 8%
199658% 20% 12% 10%
199756% 20% 14% 9%
199856% 20% 15% 9%
199957% 20% 15% 8%
200057% 20% 15% 9%
200156% 19% 15% 10%
200257% 19% 15% 10%
200357% 19% 15% 10%
200458% 18% 15% 10%
200560% 17% 13% 11%
200661% 16% 13% 10%
200763% 16% 12% 10%
200865% 15% 10% 10%
200969% 14% 8% 9%
201071% 14% 8% 7%

Graph 4

DestinationBoysGirls
Full-time education68% 73%
Other learning/training16% 12%
Employment without training9% 8%
Not in education, employment or training8% 7%

Graph 5

Ethnic group In neither full-time education nor training Not in full-time education but in training
Bangladeshi 7% 4%
Black African 6% 1%
Black Caribbean 7% 4%
Indian 4% 2%
Pakistani 6% 4%
White 7% 7%

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