Young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) for significant periods during their teen years are at risk of continuing that trend into their twenties, according to new research released today by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).
The report Who are the persistently NEET young people? , which profiles a group of 15-24 year olds who experienced continuous NEET periods of six months or more, found that those who experienced these spells between ages 15 to 19 were more likely to experience further persistent spells and poorer education outcomes by ages 20 to 24.
“Many young people experience episodes of NEET in their early post-schooling years as they make the transition from education to the world of work,” said Dr Craig Fowler, Managing Director, NCVER.
“This is completely normal and often voluntary, for example graduates who take a ‘gap year’ between school and university to travel. However there is a smaller, more vulnerable group who experience persistent and often involuntary NEET spells.
“This group is considered to be ‘at risk’ of not making a successful transition to the labour market, as they are more likely to be socially excluded and less likely to have the opportunities to develop the skills and experience they require for further education or employment.
“It is therefore very important we learn more about the characteristics of this group so effective policy decisions can be made and early intervention strategies can be properly targeted.”
The research found that the main predictors of persistent NEET periods for young people are leaving school early, having a child and to some extent coming from a disadvantaged background.
There are also some significant gender differences; males are more likely to be unemployed while females are more often ‘not in the labour force’ so they can undertake home duties or care for children.
Who are the persistently NEET young people? is available from www.ncver.edu.au/publications
This work has been produced by NCVER on behalf of the Australian Government and state and territory governments, with funding provided through the Department of Education and Training.
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