NORTHERN IRELAND

Not in education, employment or training

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • Around one in twelve 16- to 18-year-olds are now not in education, employment or training,  This is seemingly much higher than a decade ago (although, because of small sample sizes, the precise proportion jumps around from year to year).
  • The proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training is lower in Northern Ireland than in any of the regions of Great Britain.
  • In 2009/10, 80% of girls leaving school went on to further or higher education, compared with just 70% of boys.
  • By contrast, 17% of boys leaving school (but just 7% of girls) went on to some other form of training, leaving around 13% of both boys and girls going either into employment (without training), unemployment or some other (unknown) destination.
  • As a result, while girls are much more likely than boys to leave school for some form of education, boys and girls are about equally likely to leave school for either education or training.
  • On average, the higher a local area’s level of deprivation, the lower will be the proportion of its school leavers going on to further or higher education.  For example, in 2009/10, 62% of school leavers living in the most deprived fifth of wards went on to further or higher education compared with 73% in wards with average levels of deprivation.
  • Among wards with high levels of deprivation, many more school leavers in Catholic wards go on to further or higher education than do school leavers in Protestant ones.  For example, among wards in the most deprived fifth of all wards, Catholic wards saw 63% of school leavers going on to further or higher education in the three years to 2009/10, compared with 49% in Protestant wards.  Among wards in the second most deprived fifth of all wards, Catholic wards saw 73% of school leavers going on to further or higher education, compared with 60% in Protestant wards.
  • An area’s level of deprivation makes less difference to the proportion going on to further or higher education if the area is Catholic than if it is Protestant.

Definitions and data sources

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).  Note the numbers move around considerably from year to year because of the small sample sizes.

The second graph shows how proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training in Northern Ireland compares with the regions of Great Britain.  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).  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, for the latest year, the destinations of school leavers, with the data shown separately for boys and girls.

The fourth graph shows how the proportion of school leavers who go onto Further or Higher Education varies by level of deprivation and religion.  In terms of deprivation, all the wards in Northern Ireland are divided into quintiles (fifths) using the 2010 Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure.  In terms of religion, each ward is characterised as ‘catholic’, ‘protestant’ or ‘mixed’ using data from the 2001 Census: a ward is characterised as ‘catholic’ if more than 70% of its population consider themselves to be catholic, ‘protestant’ if more than 70% of its population consider themselves to be protestant, and ‘mixed’ if neither of the above is true.  To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest years.

The data source for the third and fourth graphs is the Northern Ireland School Leavers Survey, with the data in the third graph being obtained via the publication entitled Qualifications and destinations of Northern Ireland school leavers whilst that in the fourth graph being obtained via the Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: limited.  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.